Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Conclusion | Evaluation | Teacher Page

Introduction
The horse has been a popular subject among artists throughout the ages. From prehistoric renderings on the cave walls at Lascaux, France to the equestrian paintings of Edgar Degas and the abstracted sculptural works of Deborah Butterfield, artists have depicted all kinds of horses and in a wide variety of ways.

In this WebQuest, you will explore with a partner how artists from different time periods and cultures have represented the horse, and, then, express your own view of the horse by creating an original work of art.

Task
In this WebQuest, you will first consider your own experiences and thoughts about horses. Next, you will select a work of art from a list of Web resources to examine more closely. Then, working with a partner, you will analyze and compare how artists from different time periods and cultures have portrayed the horse. Finally, you will create your own work of art inspired by the horse.

Process
PART ONE
The following actvities should be completed individually:

First, think about your own experiences and ideas about horses. Make a list of words and phrases you might use to describe a horse and what a horse can do. Use the worksheet provided to record your personal reflections. Share your reflections with the class. The teacher should then collect these reflections for later review.

Next, select one of the artworks from the list of Web resources below to examine closely and then respond to the following questions. Use the worksheet provided to record your responses.

  1. What words would you use to describe the horse(s) in this work of art?
  2. Did the artist look at a real horse or use his/her imagination to make this work? What makes you think this?
  3. What seems most interesting to you about this work of art?
  4. What do you think the artist is trying to say about horses? What makes you think this?

Once you have responded to the above questions, write a description of the work of art you selected in two to three paragraphs. Your description should enable someone to pick out your work of art even though they haven't seen it. Use the worksheet provided to write your description.

PART TWO
The following activities require you to work with a partner:

First, exchange the descriptions you wrote in PART ONE with your partner. Each of you should then try to pick out the work that you feel matches your partner's description. After you have made your choice, share it with your partner and give reasons why you selected the work. If either of you were incorrect in your selection, discuss possible reasons for the difference.

Next, share your work of art and responses to the questions in PART ONE with your partner. Then, working with your partner, make a list of all the similarities and differences you can find between the your two works of art. Use a vin diagram to record your observations. Once you have completed this list, respond to the following questions. Use the worksheet provided to record your responses.

  1. Which horse seems more realistic? Why?
  2. How do you think the artists made each of these works of art?
  3. How does the artist's choice of media affect how we think or feel about the horse?
  4. What do these works tell you about how each artist viewed the horse? Are their views of the horse similar or different? What gives you this idea?

Share your works and conclusions with the class.

PART THREE
Now get ready to create your own original work of art based upon the horse. You will need a sheet of manilla or white paper (12 x 18 in. or 30 x 45 cm.), a drawing pencil, and colored pastels or chalk.

First, look at several pictures of horses. Notice such things as the shape and position of the head, legs, tail, and so on. Think about the different examples of artwork you looked at on the Web in PART TWO. Decide whether you want to depict your horse in a resting position or an action pose (such as galloping, jumping, or rearing). Consider how you might convey a horse's personality.

Next, draw a picture of a horse. Begin with a light pencil sketch. Make sure to include all the parts of the horse. Try to give your horse a distinctive personality. Finish your picture by drawing an appropriate environment for your horse.

Use chalk or pastels to add color to your picture. Consider how color can be used to convey the feeling or mood of your horse. Watercolor or tempra paint may be used instead if available. When you are finished, title and sign your picture. Share your drawing with the class.

WANT TO DO MORE?
Try one of these extension activities:

  • Create a three-dimensional sculpture based on your drawing of a horse out of paper mache, wire, or found materials.
  • Write a short story or poem about the horse in your picture. Consider writing your story or poem from the point-of-view of the horse.
  • Learn how the horse has shpaed our world in a special exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History.

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Web Resources
Select works to view from the following list:
  1. The "Chinese" Horse
    Lascaux, France, 15,000-13,500 BC.
  2. Han Prancing Horse
    China, Han Dynasty, 3rd century
    Modeled red pottery.
  3. Han Dynasty Horse
    China, Han Dynasty, 3rd century
    Terracotta.
  4. Small Horse (botton of page)
    by Albrecht Dürer, German
    Engraving, 1505
  5. The Countess of Coningsby in the Livery of the Charlton Hunt
    By George Stubbs, British.
    Oil on canvas, 1760.
  6. Whistlejacket with two other Stallions and Simon Cobb, the Groom
    By George Stubbs, British.
    Oil on canvas, 1762.
  7. The Horse Fair
    By Rosa Bonheur, French
    Oilon canvas, 1853-55.
  8. Race Horses,
    By Edgar Degas, French
    Pastel on wood, 1885–88.
  9. Horse with Jockey
    By Edgar Degas, French
    Brown wax and cloth, 1890s.
  10. Horse Galloping on Right Foot
    By Edgar Degas, French
    Brown wax and cork, 1889/1990.
  11. Flayed Horse II
    Théodore Gericault, French
    Bronze, 1832.
  12. The Riderless Horse
    By Frederic Remington, American
    Pencil, pen & ink, and watercolor on paper, 1886.
  13. Buffalo Runners - Big Horn Basin
    By Frederic Remington, American
    Oil on canvas, 1909.
  14. Blue Horse I
    By Franz Marc, German
    Oil on Canvas, 1911.
  15. Horse Weather Vane
    By Nicholas Acampora, 1935.
  16. Horse
    By Alexander Calder, American, 1970.
  17. Horse #2-85
    By Deborah Butterfield, American
    Tin, metal, rubber, wood, 1985.
  18. Landscape with the Taming of a Horse
    By Guercino, Bolognese, 1620.
  19. Untitled
    By Deborah Butterfield, American
    Bronze, 1994.
  20. Portfolio
    Deborah Butterfield @ Walla Walla Foundry
    Bronze, 1996.
  21. Argus
    By Deborah Butterfield, Americian
    Bronze, 1997.
Conclusion
In this WebQuest, we have: (1) considered our own ideas about the horse; (2) seen that artists have thought about and portrayed the horse in many different ways over the years; and (3) expressed our own views of the horse in creating works of art. To wrap up this WebQuest, create a display of all the works made by students in the class. Then, discuss the following questions as a class:
  1. Why do you think the horse has been such a popular subject for artists over the years?
  2. As a class, how have you portrayed the horse? Identify similarities and differences in the works on display.

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
Using the worksheet provided, respond to the following questions:

  1. How has studying the horse in art changed your ideas or view of the horse?
  2. When you think about the horse now, what words come to mind?
  3. What do you like most about the work of art you created?
  4. What would you change about your work, if you could do it again?

Share your reflections with the class.

Evaluation
You will be evaluated on your ability to analyze the works of art you saw and on the work of art you created. The following questions may serve is a guide in evaluating your performance and work.

Refer back to the worksheets you completed in PART ONE of the process section. How successful were you in responding to the questions posed? Were you able to support your responses to the work with good reasons? Was your partner able to select the correct work based on your description? Why or why not?

Review the worksheets you completed with your partner in PART TWO of the process section. How successful were the two of you in identifying similarities and differences in the works you selected? How successful were the two of you in responding to the questions posed? Were you able to support your responses to the questions with good reasons?

Now, look at the work of art you created in PART THREE. How successful were you in expressing what were you trying to say about the horse? Were you able to express the personality of your horse? How did you use color to express the feeling or mood of your horse? Did you include an appropriate environment for your horse? Did you do one of the extension activities?

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