‘Filho da Puta’, Winner of the Great St. Leger at Doncaster, 1815
About the work
The name of the horse depicted here, given in lettering beneath the image, is Potugese for 'son of a bitch'. In 1815 the horse won the St Leger Stakes, run at Doncaster, when he was ridden by John Jackson.
It was reported in October that year that the owner, Sir W. Maxwell, had sold the horse for 3000 guineas.
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.