Charlie Langton was born in Wroughton, Wiltshire in 1983 and then studied fine art at Edinburgh art school before going on to study at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. It was here that he developed an appreciation for the work of the old masters and in particular Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci’s understanding of his subject and his ability to work in all mediums is something that has inspired Langton in his own work and which is reflected in his drawings, paintings and sculptures.
It was while in Florence that Charlie truly recognised the importance of observing and understanding the form from life as paramount. To capture a character, whether it be human or equine, the necessity to study them from life became an imperative and key aspect of Langton’s artistic development.
Having grown up in the countryside of Wiltshire and surrounded by horses from an early age, Langton’s natural understanding of their magnificent form is realised in his work. ‘ When I see a horse, whether it is parading before a race, jumping a fence, pushing for the line, or simply standing in a paddock, I see natures greatest athlete. I attempt to capture this incredible form in my work through an understanding of their anatomy and honest observation of their character. I see the thoroughbred horse as the perfect balance of power and grace.’
The underlying theme of Langton’s work is understanding the form and portraying it in different mediums. Working in pencil, charcoal, chalk, oil, plaster, bronze, silver and marble, his work is grounded in the ethos of the old masters but with an individual and unique style of his own.
I’ve always had a love of horses and I was drawn to them as a subject from an early age. Over time this has developed into a deep fascination with their anatomy and character. Capturing the physicality as well as the character of horses in a way that isn’t formulaic and bland but at the same time conformationally correct is the challenge. Injecting the bronze with the feeling of energy and life that exudes from every thoroughbred horse in abundance is the driving force in my work and one that I’m devoted to mastering.
They are natures greatest athletes, in my opinion, and when you combine that physical power and ability with a willingness and determination to try, and consider they are nothing short of aesthetically awe inspiring, you have a thoroughly intriguing subject. Attempting to capture this combination is a fascinating challenge, which changes with every horse. I’ve adopted two of my mothers thoroughbreds who serve as willing models.