This aquatint print is one of a series of images, published under the title ‘The British Stud’. Plates one to six were advertised for sale in the ‘Guide to the Turf’ in 1846. The advertisement read:
‘THE BRITISH STUD. A series of COLOURED ENGRAVINGS, price 1l. 1s. each, From pictures by Mr. HERRING, painted expressly for this work, Portraits of the most celebrated thorough-bred Stallions and Mares… Portraits of all the Winners of the Derby, Leger, and Oaks.’
Born in Surrey, John Frederick Herring senior was the son of an upholsterer and fringe-maker for coaches. He was initially employed as a coach painter, which led him to become a coach driver, but he also had a successful career painting St Leger and Derby horserace winners. In about 1830 he moved to London and, aged 38, received his first formal art training under Abraham Cooper. He later received several royal commissions, becoming Animal Painter to HRH the Duchess of Kent in 1846. Despite this, his move to London was not financially successful until he gained the patronage of William Taylor Copeland, head of the Spode Porcelain factory in Stoke-on-Trent. Herring produced several paintings for him, including designs for Spode china.
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