© Centre des monuments nationaux

Horse gallery at the Oiron castle (Deux-Sèvres)

The Oiron castle was built in the 16th century by the Gouffier family, particularly Claude (1500-1570), the Grand Equerry of King Henry II, an aesthete who made his home a shrine for art dedicated to rare books and the most unusual objects. A veritable gallery of horse portraits, the castle’s left wing housed the painted depictions of Henry II’s most beautiful rides, together with the name of the stud farm where the horses were bred. Lost in time, the paintings were remembered in 1992 by the painter Georg Ettl, who painted the horse silhouettes at the original locations.