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John Frederick Herring Sr (1795-1865) & Sporting Art

What is "sporting art"?  Sporting Art was originally known as a genre from the 18th and 19th centuries of England that focused on animal portraits and scenes.  These scenes usually portrayed country life and sports typical of the rural Georgian and Victorian periods and include fox hunting, horse racing, race horse portraits, game shooting and fishing.  Most of these works were commissioned by the subjects of the paintings.  As industrialization created a change in demographics with more people moving from rural areas to urban centers, these commissions began to decline as the lifestyles of citizens changed. Over history, as more sports have become popular worldwide, sporting art has evolved as well to include the many forms of sport entertainment we enjoy today. 

One particular genre, however, has continued through time, Race Horse Portraits, which leads us to the mention of John Frederick Herring Sr. 

John Frederick Herring Sr was born in London England on September 12, 1795 to a Dutch/English merchant and died on September 23, 1865.  As a youth in London, Herring's favorite pastime meant drawing and painting race horses and work horses in their stables. As a young man, he was employed as an advertisement painter where he created signs for inns/pubs and painted insignia onto the sides of coaches. In his spare time, Herring drew on his past hobby and began painting commissioned race horses for local inns and pubs in Northern England. Through this side work, his paintings were noticed by wealthy travelers, and their interests helped him break out as a full-time artist with an establish customer base. Other commissioned works include pieces for the Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria during her ruling time, the Duc d'Orleans (Duke of Orleans) son of French King Louis-Phillipe, and in 1845 was given the title of Animal Painter to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent.  

During his lifetime, John Frederick Herring Sr was on exhibit at the Royal Academy from 1818-1865, the British Institution from 1830-1865, and the Society of British Artists from 1836-1852.  He also served as the Vice-President of the Society of British Artists in 1842. 

Pickwick has 3 such paintings by John Frederick Herring Sr available for sale: 

"Returning From A Ride: A Stable Interior" 


"Languish & Pantaloon" - c. 1846


"Horse and Goats in a Stable Courtyard" - c. 1860


More examples of our Sporting Art include:

Posted under New Arrivals