painting horse. enrique castro
Enrique Castro was born in Buenos Aires in 1938 and has a long experience painting horses of all breeds. He has been admired for his precise exposure of horse Anatomy in portraiture and action scenes. His technique is based on academic school principles, with a personal artistic representation. He is very keen on several aspects of the horse but the most astounding feature is depicting the character of the horse. Far from photographic representation his horses are more related with astounding painters of the past like Delacroix, Gericault, De Dreux or Munnings.
Very well known for his polo pictures considered of the best of contemporary painters and also the racing horse in action. In the words of Claude Berry former manager of the Tryon Gallery “few painters show, like Castro, convincing polo pictures”
The Arab horse, as the origin of the thoroughbred horse and consequently of the polo horses today, show in Castro’s painting the unrivalled beauty of the breed, frequently showing the Arab horses of the past in scenes that are related to the 19th century, with the complex study of saddles and pieces of equipment .
Enrique Castro has become a world recognized expert in painting horses. For over 40 years he has studied very carefully all aspects of the horse’s structure and behaviour. The artist’s works are present in the most important collections. Nowadays, due to the high quality of his paintings, he is considered one of the most important equine painters.
From very early age he started to draw, and when he was 13 years old he illustrated a cover based On a novel. That was his first professional job. For about 15 years he worked in many well-known advertising firms like Walter Thompson, Mc Cann Erickson, etc. During that period, he made his first trip tu USA, and admirer of the American illustrators such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Charles Dana Gibson he received their influence.
Back in Argentina, he settled in the countryside and bred polo ponies for 15 years, and the same time he managed a racing horses stud farm. Not satisfied with his technical level, he spent 8 years with a great Argentinian master Miguel Caride that made a turning point in his career. He begun to exhibit his horses and commissioned works started to pour in. Including for USA Bob Kieckeford former President of the American Quarter Horse Association asked for his art and portrayed horses of his property. He Exhibited in Saratoga, Lexington, Louville, Manhattan (Wally Findlay), Lafayette, California (Pacific Wild Life) etc.
The time was ripe for London. He worked for 20 years with The Tryon Gallery and became one of the most popular painters of the gallery selling over 300 paintings on subjects like horseracing, polo an dogs. His works are auctioned in Sothebys, Christies, Bonhams and Invaluable among others. His technique of oil on paper amazed the market. Benjamin Hall former Vice President of Old Masters in Sotheby’s, paid a visit to his studio to buy racing scenes, surprised by technique of Action studies in oils.
Perhaps in the Country Illustrated a few years ago, there is a commentary of Charles Lane that Gives an idea of his work. “Enrique Castro paints in a single medium of oil. But in two distinct Manners. Never large works, there are straightforward oil and what at first sight might be described as oil sketches, very thin paint, but such delicate yet detailed brushstrokes, that these Pictures have more substance than a sketch. As well as more than 15 paintings of every aspect of Polo, Castro shows a few racing scenes, a mare and foal, and a delightful study of mare an ewe. Titled “Al is Calm” this painting has obvious echoes of George Stubbs portrait of Dungannon, where “the great attachment of this horse to a sheep, is very singular” (The Sporting Magazine 1794.
He does not stop. His research and studies of the horse are still going strong.