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Waiting, Mann Island, Liverpool Docks

A sculpture by Judy Boyt to commemorate the working horses that contributed their sweat to make the port of Liverpool great.

2015-04-03 19.13.41

An interruption to the planned Stoic service

To bring you…

HORSES. Giant ones.

These were finished today in Scotland. I MUST go. Utterly magnificent.

By the artist Andy Scott (under construction) Falkirk

I’ve lost a few days (and a blog post)

Regular readers might have wondered what an earth I was talking about in my last post. I’ve realised why. I wrote a post at the weekend called ‘On Anger’ and thought I’d published it, but I hadn’t and I only noticed just now.

If you are just dropping by this once, none of the above, or what may follow, will make the least bit of sense so I’d advise you evacuate the blog now to be on the safe side.

For the rest of you: I am thinking. I may be a while…

Rodin: The Thinker


This isn’t another Olympic or Paralympic post, it’s about an upcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy starting next month.

This is the head of Seuthes III a king of Thrace and contemporary of Alexander the Great.
It was made around 2300 years ago somewhere on the Northern Aegean coast and excavated in Bulgaria only eight years ago. The bronze head is slightly bigger than life size, with copper eyelashes; the eyes are picked out with four different colours of glass paste.

It looks amazing.

Over two millenia collapsed in an instant between the gaze of those eyes and ours.

Bronze of Seuthes III c. 3rd Century BC

Dogs & Horses, Dogs & Horses

It always has been this way with me. I don’t know why. I blame epigenetics. Colloquially speaking: it’s in the blood.

I love this piece from the Union Gallery, unsurprisingly marked SOLD.

'The Little Dog Laughed to See Such Fun' in steel wire & recycled materials by Barbara Franc


Continuing the classical and completely pointless theme of matching little-known art to unheard of racehorses; Meleager was some mythological Greek geezer who killed the Calydonian Boar. This wicked boar had been sent by the goddess Artemis as a punishment and was busy terrorising the mythical neighbourhood by rooting up the vines, killing cattle and people. The rest of the story is long and complicated as these Greek things tend to be. I can say that because I have a Greek antecedent – ok?

This version of Meleager is a painted lead garden statue from the 1700s and can be seen in the V&A (British Sculpture Hall). Obviously I liked it because of the Rudi-like dog.

It turns out that there have been about four beasts (or brutes if you were Clement Freud) of the equine persuasion called Meleager, the earliest recorded being the 1753 version. The one I have selected to big up is the Meleager of 1908, by Eager out of Mesange, who was herself by Persimmon which neatly fits the Greek theme. There’s a lot of thought goes into giving these horses their bloody awful names you know. Anyway to wrap the ramble up (can you tell it’s nearly the end of term?), Meleager turned out to be a leading sire of jump racehorses in the early 1900s, but despite comprehensive research I cannot tell you one single recently prominent NH horse that has him in his pedigree.

I took photos of four subjects at the V&A and did not have it in mind to connect any of them with horses. Now I have started this mad enterprise I will have to try with the others. I know, you can hardly wait.