By depicting the horse frontally, as though approaching the viewer, van Dyck conforms to an established perspective which Rubens also utilized in Riding School. Even if van Dyck had not seen it, Charles I would have been familiar with Rubens’ Portrait of the Duke of Lerma, from his visit to Spain in 1623. Van Dyck also executed a portrait of The Marquis of Moncada with a horse in an identical position as that of Charles I. The pose of the horse is often significant in equestrian portraiture. In Charles I on Horseback with M. de St. Antoine , The King’s apparent ability at controlling such a powerful mount is meant to advertise his style of rule as powerful. In Rubens’ George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1625), the Duke’s rearing horse connotes a dynamic rider prone to action and adventure. A steadfast horse would have rather indicated the authority and power of its rider. As it was, Villiers was a significant player in the seventeenth-century English equestrian scene. Appointed Master of the Horse in 1616 by James I, 1603-1625, Villiers was extremely successful in improving the quality of the royal bloodstock. Perhaps it was precisely his influence on improving English horses that most inspired Rubens. Equally important within the composition of Charles I on Horseback with M. de St. Antoine is the position of the viewer. Positioned such that s/he is below the horse and king, the viewer is thus subjugated by Charles I. The painting depicts a powerful image of Charles’ desire to rule absolutely, and provides an excellent example of van Dyck’s mastery of equestrian iconography.
Charles I at the Hunt is an innovative painting wherein van Dyck experiments with the traditional iconography of equestrian portraiture. By avoiding references to the continental influences of Titian or Rubens, van Dyck was possibly exploring equestrian traditions within the sphere of the English School . Julius Held cites a much earlier work by an unknown artist from the British School, Portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (1603) which depicts Charles’ older brother dismounted by a slain stag, as a possible inspiration for van Dyck’s work. Van Dyck does not include any overt visual references to the hunt in his painting.
This story is, of course, well known. 1984 must be one of the most widely read novels of our time. What is remarkable about the movie is how completely it satisfied my feelings about the book; the movie looks, feels, and almost tastes and smells like Orwell's bleak and angry vision. John Hurt , with his scrawny body and lined and weary face, makes the perfect Winston Smith; and Richard Burton , looking so old and weary in this film that it is little wonder he died soon after finishing it, is the immensely cynical O'Brien, who feels close to people only while he is torturing them. Suzanna Hamilton is Julia, a fierce little war orphan whose rebellion is basically inspired by her hungers.