Four paintings by one of England’s most celebrated equine artists are late additions to the prestigious Old Masters, British and European Paintings auction at Woolley and Wallis on 12th August.
The oil on canvas artworks by John Ferneley (Senior) date from the first half of the 19th century and feature stunning bay hunters, including a pair depicted in Croxton Park with Belvoir Castle in the distance. Belvoir Castle was a key setting for Ferneley, being the estate of the 5th Duke of Rutland, who it was persuaded the artist to cease working as a wheelwright and take up painting.
As well as the Duke of Rutland, Ferneley counted the notorious Beau Brummel among his patrons, as well as the Comte d’Orsay. He was also frequently commissioned to paint the hunts at Belvoir, Quorn and Cottesmore – all hunt members contributing to the artist’s fee and then drawing lots to see who would win the painting.
“John Ferneley is probably second only to George Stubbs in the oeuvre of equine artworks,” said head of Paintings, Victor Fauvelle. “The four works included in our auction on 12th August are beautiful examples of his work and bound to appeal to art lovers and equestrian enthusiasts alike. The fact that he was so much in demand by the owners of horses during his lifetime shows the appeal in his work, and that has not lessened over the last two centuries.”
More details of the paintings can be found by clicking here.