The Royal Horse and Rider: Painting, Sculpture and Horsemanship 1500-1800 by Walter Leidtke (gently used copy)
This is the first survey of its kind, although the subject is a central theme of European art. The book presents a history of equestrian portraits, monuments, and related forms such a bronze statuettes and engravings dating from the Renaissance to the French Revolution. Most of the text concentrates on the period from about 1550 to 1650, when the work of such eminent artist as Giambologna, Rubens, van Dyck, Velaszquez, and Bernini coincided with the rise of the haute ecole riding at the leading courts of Europe. These artists devoted their closest study to the subject because equestrian protraits and monuments, usually restricted to royal sitters, comprised one of the most difficult and most public forms of state portraiture.
What people are saying about this book:
"I used this book as my primary source for my bachelor's thesis project. It is by far the most through and intellectual book of Renaissance and Baroque equestrian art which I have read. Liedke is an educated, high-level horseman with a real understanding of the finer considerations of the art of horsemanship. Included is commentary of the birth of dressage and the "Classical" riding style, relative art historical comparisons between works, topical commentary on other publications, and many beautiful plates of some of the most famous monuments extant, viewed from the unique perspective of the horseman. I also recommend Laura Camins' "Glorious Horsemen," although dressage enthusiasts will take issue with many of her statements."