Over the course of 15 years, Arthus-Bertrand (Earth from Above) traveled the worldfrom Argentina and Iceland to Senegal and the United Statestaking photographs of horses proud and humble, purebred and wild. In this visually stunning ode to Equus caballus, he gathers over 200 photos of stocky Scottish Clydesdales, lithe English Thoroughbreds, speedy American Quarterhorses and many other breeds, each reproduced in glossy, vivid color. While standard equine portraiture calls for a horse to be photographed in profile, its clean lines clearly visible against a plain canvas background, Arthus-Bertrand favors portraits that depict the horse in motiontail flicking, mane flyingand often paired with its owner or trainer. In one particularly arresting series, he captures French saddle horses mid-leap, as if suspended over jumps in an indoor ring. He often retains the canvas background to excellent but slightly ironic effect, as when he pulls back to reveal whats often cropped out: while one page shows a horse and his owner in sub-Saharan Africa standing on a rug in front of a plain canvas backdrop, for instance, the following page displays them in the larger context, complete with spectators, spotlights, and the rope thats supporting the canvas strung up between two trees. Theres plenty of informative text about the different breeds, but most people will be too entranced by the gorgeous photographs to notice.
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Jean-Louis Gouraud is widely respected as one of Europe's preeminent experts on horses, with the distinction of having traveled from Paris to Moscow on horseback.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, traveler, photographer, and former hot-air balloon pilot, is world renowned for his astonishing photography books. His seminal work, Earth from Above, has been published in numerous languages and was the basis for a worldwide photo exhibition. Arthus-Bertrand's work regularly appears in Geo, Life, National Geographic, and Paris-Match.