21 May 2014

Pieter Estersohn's Kentucky Part II


"O! for a horse with wings!"~Shakespeare, Cymbeline

 Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

The beauty of Kentucky is evident in these Pieter Estersohn photographs from his new book Kentucky. Some of the most beautiful in the book to my eye are from the Gainesway Farm. Here, Estersohn's powers
are evident as he captures Gainesway's thoroughbreds, stables, and landscapes.

Graham Beck's Gainesway Farm in Lexington encompasses 1500 acres in the Golden Cresent of the Inner Bluegrass region. Now retired, Beck's son Anthony and his family live on the farm in a house modeled after an 1830's Lexington tobacco farmhouse. A potager and a boxwood herb garden are one of several gardens that Beck and garden designer David Hruska have laid out on the property.

Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes." ~Shakespeare,Henry V

Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

Men are better when riding, more just and more understanding, and more alert and more at ease and more under-taking, and better knowing of all countries and all passages; in short and long all good customs and manners cometh thereof, and the health of man and of his soul. ~Attributed to Edward Plantagenet

Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

"He's of the colour of the nutmeg.  And of the heat of the ginger.... he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts." ~Shakespeare, Henry V

 Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

...The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them
~Robert Frost, Mending Wall

Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

"The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears."  ~Arabian Proverb

Pieter Estersohn photographer.  Courtesy of The Monacelli Press

I've added quotations for your pleasure in reading-not that one needs such. Estersohn's photographs are pure poetry, rivaling the poets-sometimes that happens, and it is so in Kentucky.

The Monacelli Press has graciously sent the Estersohn book my way. The book is available on May 23rd. Part I of this post is here.


  1. Gaye Several years ago I had two amazing Arabians...I miss these glorious creatures!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Nothing smells better than a horse and saddle; okay, puppies.

  3. When God created the horse He said to the magnificent creature:

    "I have made thee unlike any other. All the treasures of the earth lie
    between thine eyes.

    Thou shalt cast mine enemies between thy hooves, but thou shalt
    carry my friends upon thy back. This shall be the seat from which
    prayers rise up unto me.

    Thou shalt find happiness all over the earth and thou shalt
    be favored above all other creatures. For to thee shall accrue the
    love of the master of the earth, and thou shall fly without wings and
    conquer without a sword - Oh Horse.”

    The Koran

  4. I wouldn't comment but for my grandfather's boyhood commonwealth (a simple severance from Virginia's original span) and your beautiful selection of images here. It seems to me that the colour of green in the 4-board paddocks at dawn could be put to some future use by you, given your feel for it. I admire it greatly. And because Edward Plantagenet's encomium on the condition of being horsed resounds very authentically in the journals and letters of sincere enthusiasts to this day, with exuberant persuasiveness, I can say again that I was glad I came to this refreshing destination.



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