Circus Horses


View Larger Image
Print an Order Form

  Art Description 

The arena has five performing horses—they move and heed the commands and gestures of their trainer. They carry elaborately decorated canopy covers and feathered caps. The people in the audience are seated around the arena. In the foreground one can see the many faces and their eyes watching in wonder at these amazing horses.

The eye of the viewer follows the circle of the seating to the audience on the opposite side of the ring. There are many people seated, watching the exciting moment of the horses dancing in response to the raised arms of their trainer.

 Artist’s Notes

In printing this lithograph I used four colors and drew on four separate aluminum lithographic plates:
  • Red
  • Blue 
  • Golden orange
  • Sepia

I used some semi-transparent inks to build up the depth of color and add subtle gradations. By using special lithographic pencils, some harder and some softer, I was able to draw shadings and perspective. The more I applied the litho pencil, the more ink stayed on the plate as we printed more color. With a harder litho pencil I was able to achieve more control of the drawing.

I wanted to capture the decorative architecture found in the circus arena, and the moments of excitement as the audience sees the facility of the trainer as the horses perform their skilled feats. I wanted show the faces of the audience at one of these moments. 

Image Documentation 

An original, hand-printed lithograph published by the artist with collaboration of master printer Efram Wolff, at Effram Wolf Studio in Van Nuys, California.

Completed February 21, 1982.

Edition Size: 100


Image: 17½" x 22"

Paper: 23" x 27" 
Paper: Rives BFK White

Colors: 4 plates printed

Price: $300.00

Copyright © 2020 John August Swanson