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Italian photographer Marco Delogu captures a remarkable series of portraits of jockeys who have participated in the Palio, Siena's historic horse race.

Twice a year, Siena divides itself into 17 of its ancient ‘contrade’ (districts), with each challenging the other in a horse race held in the beautiful and iconic Piazza del Campo, the city’s central square.

The horses are drawn by lot, so it is the jockeys (competing without saddles and in period costume) who are arguably the real if somewhat roguish stars of the show.

In this series of portraits, visitors come face to face with individuals of different ages and genders. What unifies them all is their unflinching gaze; Delogu tightly crops and frames his subjects and narrowly focuses his lens on their eyes to the exclusion of almost all else. Perhaps most striking of all is the suggestion that these faces would have been familiar to the likes of Dante or the Visconti and Medici families.

Also featured in the exhibition is a selection of Delogu's most recent works, equestrian studies inspired by the horses painted by Italian Mannerist Cavalier d'Arpino in the 16th and 17th centuries, along with his last series – The White Studio –life-size images of horses inspired by George Stubb's Whistlejacket.

PhotographyContemporary artEast Anglia

National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art

Palace House, Palace Street, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EP

01638 667314


Opening times

Temporarily closed

Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

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