Elatus from Pandaemonium I (Centaurs) (2010) by David Trullo.

One of a series of centaur portraits by Spanish artist David Trullo. Placing characters from Classical mythology in contemporary settings makes a change. The title Pandaemonium I implies further series so I’m curious to see how Trullo follows these.


Battling Centaurs (1873) by Arnold Böcklin.

Centaurs had a flush of popularity in Germanic art of the 19th century; Franz Stuck painted them a number of times and Jugend magazine is littered with many often grotesque representations. I’ve never seen an explanation for this resurgence of interest. Is it because a man/horse hybrid is a potent symbol of masculine power? Arnold Böcklin’s painting is one of the better examples and suits its title more than Michelangelo’s famous sculpture in which the hybrids are lost in a tangle of writhing bodies.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Masks of Medusa

5 thoughts on “Centaurs”

  1. My favourite centaurs are the ones in Piero di Cosimo’s Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs, especially the dying centaur and his lady at centre front. I wonder was Piero one of the first artists to give sort-of-supernatural beings like centaurs and fauns pointy ears.

    The main problem with depictions of centaurs is their genitals – do they have two sets (as in a John Varley novel I can’t remember the title of) or none at all? Neither solution seems quite right.

  2. Pe-Jota: Yes, I’d seen some of his earlier work on gay news sites.

    AlyxL: The Greeks gave satyrs and fauns pointed ears (not sure about their centaurs) so they’re probably the origin of all pointy-eared creatures who follow. I’ve always considered centaurs to have genitals where the stallion would have them. At least they get a set, unlike mer-creatures who often seem quite sexless despite the reputation they have for luring humans into the deep.

  3. I came across the “Centaurs” entry from 2010 in a search for gay art/imagery involving sex between gay centaurs.Has any ‘serious’ artist produced any work that depicts the act of mounting and penetration? There’s the occasional,badly-drawn/painted,’comic-book’ image-with ill-proportioned centaurs-but no real art.Is there another website somewhere? J.H.

  4. Hi John. Not that I’ve seen, I would have remembered if I’d run across anything more substantial than the usual furry sketches.

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