‘Phosphorus’, Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom, 1837
Coloured aquatintpublished 1837
About the artist
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.