The Flying Gallop

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The Flying Gallop

Also on this page: {Motions of the Horse] All text from: Pp. 479-503. which was condensed directly from Reinach's original articles in Revue Archeologique, 1900-1901. BEGIN BLOCK QUOTE ========================================= The flying gallop is the name given to a way of representing in art a horse or other quadruped running at full speed. The front legs are stretched out together forward, the hind legs similarly extended back almost horizontally, with the soles of the hoofs veertical, or even up. No horse ever actually assumes this position, or one like it, in a gallop or in any other gait; the motion camera has put that beyond dispute. [Possibly seen as an animal lept across a river, perhaps??] [Note 3: [P.479] A greyhound and a deer at full speed do momentarily assume a position something like that of the flying gallop. But, they are light animals, and their foot sequence in galloping is "rotary", instead of "transverse" as is that of horses, cattle, and most other mammals.] In fact a horse that somehow got itself into flying-gallop posture would either fall or have a bad spill when its legs reached the ground again. The position is therefore a wholly conventional or symbolic one, used in art because of its suggestion of great speed. Its objective falsity was no bar to its acceptacne by artists, because the human eye and brain are not quick enough "freeze" most of the shifting positions of the legs of a running animal. In fact, nearly all the galloping postures in nearly all arts -- until the cinema [see: Muybridge] came to the rescue -- are visual lies. This makes thier history interesting. Being inventions of un-reality, we can trace their genealogies. If they corresponded to reality, they might derive anew from that, every so often, instead of being, as unrealities, obvious imitations of other artists' unrealities. The belief that geese hatch from goose eggs can harldy have its first origin [identified] because actual observation is constantly repeated. But, the medieval belief that geese hatch out of barancles is such a fantastic unreality that all versions of the story may safely be considered as deriving from one original invention. The most common method of picturing a running animal, the world over, is with its hind legs on the ground, the frong legs either pawing the air in a somewhat bent position, or stretched forward. This is a rearing or prance, like that of a goat when it is rising to stand up to butt. Something like this prance is momentarily assumed when a horse is about to leap over a hurdle; but, it wouuld completely interfere with a gallop. A running horse [Figure 24a-e] does the very reverse of what the Figure 24 a-e, The five basic positions: a) Alighting from leap on hind leg; the only actual position caught by artists' eyes, and used by Fidias b) and c) - successive pushing forward d) the final spring or push with the front leg e) the horizontal leap, all legs off the ground and gathered under.. suggests: It gives its final push off the ground for its spring through the air with one and then the other of its fore-feet, and lands first on its hind legs (Fig. 24a). This landing position is the only one revealed by the camera that any art has managed to use. Its earliest known [as of 1948] appearance is in Greek coins from Corinth. Phidias then popularized it (Fig. 24f), and it had a vogue alongside the prances in the best Greek period; but then it got rarer, and from about bce 200 ?date? on it disappeared from Greek, Roman, and Western art. The usual representation of this posture by the Greeks was with the body and neck of the animal rising as if it were loping in a slow {canter}, or were being pulled back in its pace; whereas the actual running horse [Fig. 24a] has its back level and its neck stretched. It was probably Figure 24-f. An art representation which is true to life. From the Parthenon frieze, Phidias: Corresponding to Fig. 24a in the leg postions, though the horse is checked back or reared too much. this effect of checking or slowness that caused later Greeks and Romans to abandon again the depiction of this one posture of the gallop that really occurs. Following Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks, the Romans, Byzantines, peoples of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Modern times (Figures 24 g-l) until the nineteenth century, Figure 24-g-l. The Prance: An un-real invention used by artists. This has been favored in most art to represent running. It does not actually occur in the gallop, but is the take-off for clearing a hurdle. g) Ancient Egypt h) Assyria i) Medieval j) Giotto, Italy k) Raphael l) Vernet, early 19th century France (1800c) all used only one or the other form of the prance; although the masters in more recent centuries, such as Raphael, Leonardao, Rubens, Velasquez, usually concealed the monotony of this stance by favoring fore-shortented views of their animals; eg, Fig. 24-k. The flying gallop has an entirely separate history. It appears full-blown in the Minoan art of Crete and the derived Mycenaen art of the mainland, of say 1600-1100 bce, and is therefore pre-Greek. See Fig 24 m-n. Fig. 24 m-n. The flying gallop -- another invention of an un-reality. It appears first in Minoan- Mycenaen art. Though un-natural, it does suggest speed of motion. (m) bull, (n) lions. Vaphio and Mycenae. This art was interested in vehemence and rapidity; the device of stretching out the body and limbs is evidently the result of this inclination: The posture suggests the speed of flight. The flying gallop did not get adopted into the main current of Greek art, which really began pretty much over again, centuries later than Minoan-Mycenaen art, with quite crude, stiff, and static forms. Next we find this same flying gallop, and other contorted animal postures in Scythian and Siberian art. The Scythians lived in the steppes of the Ukraine, wher they had trading contacts with the Greek cities on the north side of the Black Sea. They were mainly a horse-riding pastoral people, not skilled in the arts [?out of date interpretation???], but often wealthy; and from the sixth century bce (ie, bce500c) on, they fancied luxury products of foreign manufacture, among which occur the flying-gallop examples. There is a time gap here, since by the bce500c Minoan-Mycenaen art had been extinct in its homeland for half a millennium. But, it is probable, or possible, that certain of its traditions had been carried to the Black sea and survived thre, and that the flying gallop, appealing to the horse-loving barbarians, got preserved in articles made for them, or imitated by them. The alternative would be to assume that the flying gallop was independently re-invented by the backward nomadic Scythians [?bias?] only five hundred years later and five hundred miles away from the seats of the technologically skilled Mycenaeans. The lapse and the distance are somewhat short in the vista of cultural history, and the circumstances unfavorable, to mae an independent recurrence seem likely, as compared with a transmission and carry-over of which the actual records happens not to have been preserved. [?more recent (than 1948) discoveries?] From the Ukraine, this Scythian style with flying gallop spread to Hungary; to the Goths who at various times ranged between the Blatic and the Crimea; to the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea; and to southwestern Siberia (Fig. 24-o), where Fig. 24. The International Travels of the Flying Gallop. (o) Early Siberian art (p) Sassanian Persia (q) Han China (r) T'ang China. Note the stirrup in r; it is one of the earliest pictures of a stirrup, soon after ce600. a related art maintained itself long after the Scythians were extinct, in fact until around ce500. From this general region, our device was communicated to Sassanian Persia between bce226-641 ?dates??? (Fig. 24-p); all earlier Persian art lacks the device, as did Assyrian and Greek arts by which Persian art was influenced. A farther spread was to China, where depiction of the flying gallop had become installed by terminal Han times, by ce200c (Fig. 24-q & r). The Han dynasty repeatedly sought Western connections, especially in order to obtain heavy cavalry horses from Feghana in modern Soviet Uzbekistan, so that an avenue was open for import of the stylistic influence. The Chinese, and following them the Japanese, adopted the flying gallop in their art and have kept it to the present time, though it was not their only method of representing running animals. Also, in conformity with the bent of their styles, the Chinese and Japanese gallop is mostly not very much stretched -- the legs flex more than elsewhere; but, the hind hoofs leave no doubt as to what it is. This diffusion to China and Japan was the lst but one of the travels of the flying gallop. In 1794, it suddenly appeared in an English engraved print of the flying gallop by Stubbs, followed 3 year later by a woodcut in the Sporting Magazine. It was about 25 years more before the the new posture made its way into British high-art oil painting. This timidity of acceptance shows that it probably was popular and aristocratic predilection for horse-racing in England, and not any aesthetic originality of its academic paintersw, that led to the innovations being made in Great Britain. In France, where the thoroughbred track racing was first introduced from England in 1781, the painters were more receptive: The first examples of the flying gallop in sketches date only from 1817; but within 4 years, Gericault established it in exhibited art with his "Epsom Derby"; painted in England (Fig. 24-s). The flying gallop soon over-shadowed or crowded out the older rears and prancers, except in equestrian statues, where contact with the ground was necessary for support. In Germany, the flying gallop seems first to have been sketched as late as 1835, and painted in 1840. There is some question whether the 19th century (1800c) European depiction of the flying gallop represnets an original invention of this deceptive but appealign falsity, or an imitation of it. Chinese ceramics and other works of luxury and art had been reaching the West freely for 250 years before 1794, so that the European eyes, especially the eyes of overseas-trading Englishmen, may have become gradually Fig. 24 (t) Influence of the Camera on Art. The painter's eye begins to borrow from the photographic film. From Morot's 1886 battle scene. The position is that of 24-e -- full gallop. Again, refer to [Muybridge]. END BLOCK QUOTE =========================================

Motions of the Horse

cantor trot -- must research these.... (soo little time....) full gallop