EERELMAN, Otto (1839-1926)
De Russische Harrdraver [Russian Trotter]
[Pl. 20] [Antwerp: Zutphen, Schillemans & Van Belkum, 1907]. Colour-printed lithograph by J.L. Goffart, after a painting by Otto Eerelman on heavy textured card. Very good condition. Sheet size: 17 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches.
A rare and finely rendered portrait of a historically significant breed of horse, from the limited Dutch edition of Eerelman's 'Paardenrassen Kunstalbum'.
First appearing during the late nineteenth century, the Russian Trotter was a combination of the American Standardbred (American Trotter) and the native Russian Orlov. Essentially a harness horse, it was valued for its speed and initially bred to circumvent the ban on racing foreign-bred horses in Russia. At the end of the 1950s, the breed began to decline due to the increasing popularity of the French Trotter and the common use of the American Standardbred on European harness tracks. A skilled draftsman, watercolourist, and painter, Otto Eerelman was born in the Netherlandish village of Groningen in 1839, where he studied with the Dutch history painter J.H. Egenberger at the Minerva Academy. He later studied in Paris in 1867 and in Brussels from 1874 to 1876. After living in The Hague and Arnhem for several years, he returned to his hometown, where he became an instructor at the Minerva Academy. Although widely reputed for his paintings of the royal family, particularly Queen Wilhelmina, Eerelman was primarily known for his detailed renderings of horses. In 1907, Zutphen, Schillemans & Van Belkum published a Dutch edition of Paardenrassen Kunstalbum, a portfolio of chromolithographed plates based on paintings by Eerelman, which depict different breeds of draft horses.
Mennessier de la Lance, Essai de bibliographie hippique donnant la description détaillée des ouvrages publiés ou traduits en latin et en français sur le cheval et la cavalerie, avec de nombreuses biographies d'auteurs hippiques, p. 667.