Equestrian Collection: Loraine-Smith & Charles Cooper Henderson
This fascinating collection of animal, and in particular equestrian, pictures is connected with two highly regarded horse painters: Charles Loraine-Smith (1751-1835), a keen horseman known for his early hunting and sporting scenes; and Charles Cooper Henderson (1803-1877), the preeminent painter of Victorian horses and coaches. Both artists were instrumental in developing the genre of horse painting, and achieved fame and popularity through print reproductions after their work. At a time when animal painting was seen as a ‘lower’ form of art, these artists were pioneering in establishing the respectability and status of the genre.
The collection includes signed works by both these artists, as well a number of interesting works by other members of the Loraine-Smith family: Charles’s son, Reverend Loraine Loraine Smith (1784-1857), and daughter-in-law, Isabella – who were both keen horse-riders, and produced personal studies of horses and hunting subjects under Charles’s influence.
This collection also includes horse pictures by other notable names, such as Jules Léon Montigny, Henry Thomas Alken, Anthony Devis and Frank L. Emanuel. And there are studies after George Stubbs, James Pollard and Leonardo da Vinci.The story behind why these equestrian pictures have come together is a mystery, but it is possible that the collection was at one time owned by Charles Cooper Henderson. Our collection includes a watercolour by William James Müller – and, interestingly, Charles’s brother, the distinguished art collector John Henderson, was an avid collector of Müller’s works. Together, these pictures, spanning the late 18th into the early 19th century, show the ever increasing British obsession with all things equine.