Portrait of Pieter Schout on Horseback

‘Portrait of Pieter Schout on Horseback’, Thomas de Keyser, 1660

I ran across this while flipping through a book of artwork on Amsterdam’s Rikjsmuseum. Imagine my suprise to turn the page and find a perfect example of a modern Friesian horse, painted in the 17th century! It seems the Friesian was bred in a more refined form, like that we see today, for quite some time, and the breed only started to get heavier at the beginning of the 20th century, when their use returned to primarily that of a draft horse. I should note that, while the painting seems to portray a Friesian perfectly, and I certainly believe it is one, the official description of the horse is a ‘black Andalusian’. I shall let you decide for yourselves.