7: ‘Barbelle’ and ‘Bay Middleton’
Coloured aquatintpublished 13 September 1854
About the work
This aquatint print is Plate seven 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.’
This work was described in ‘New Sporting Magazine’ as follows:
‘This plate embodies the portrait of Bay Middleton and Barbelle, a cross that resulted in the far-famed Flying Dutchman, the Derby Leger and Great Match winner. In subject it is one of the most interesting of the series; while in treatment, whether we speak for the artist or his engraver, Mr. Harris, the print turns out as one of the very best.’
About the artist
John Harris III was an aquatint engraver of sporting and military subjects after works by contemporary artists. He was born in London and may have been the son of the watercolourist, illustrator and lithographer known as John Harris II. However, it has also been suggested that he was the son of a cabinet maker. Harris remained in London for the duration of his life and worked mainly for the publisher Ackermann and Fores.
William Summers was an aquatint engraver, mainly of sporting subjects, but also of military and naval subjects. His engravings were made after the work of contemporary artists. Summers was a pupil of, and also collaborated with, aquatint engraver John Harris III.
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.