Departure to the hunt - Jacques-Laurent Agasse

hunting painting jacques-laurent agasse realism art history men horses dogs building landscape animal gate eighteenth century

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Agasse painted many horses in his lifetime and his patrons often wanted to be depicted at their leisure activities and this is one such example. Departure to the hunt shows the light concentrating on the tableau of the horses and riders along with their dogs, the buildings and scenery being of secondary importance to Agasse.
The light spilling out from the archway seems to be blinding the man on the brown horse as he holds up his arm to shield his eyes and all attention is drawn to the rider on the white horse whose coat positively shines out of the darkness surrounding it. The rider is held in half shadow on his horse and is a more dynamic figure because of the lighting. The brown horse seems to be shying away from the barking dogs in front of it, and, there is a general air of controlled action and excitement to the painting.

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