Elegant Renaissance Horses – Posters, Cards and Gifts
Beautiful reproductions of 16th century engravings from one of the greatest illustrated horse books of all time.
The book was called Equile, and it depicts horses from the extraordinary stables of Don Juan of Austria, the Governor-General of the Netherlands. Don Juan of Austria was the illegitimate son of Charles the fifth and a half-brother to Philip the Second, King of Spain and the Netherlands. It was Don Juan who led the Spanish troops to their decisive victory against the Ottoman Empire at the famous Battle of Lepanto in 1571. He later became Governor-General of the Netherlands, and it was there that he began to assemble an extraordinary collection of horses from all the regions of Europe. Don Juan invited a well known artist of the time – Jan van der Straet – known by his Latin name — Stradanus to draw portraits of the stallions in his stables. The top Dutch engravers of that time worked from Stradanus’s drawings to create the engravings for the book.