Charles Cooper Henderson, Carriage Horse - Mid-19th-century watercolour painting


An original mid-19th-century watercolour painting, Charles Cooper Henderson Carriage Horse.

An impressive painting in watercolour, with brown ink, by the renowned British painter of horses and coaches Charles Cooper Henderson (1803-1877). His paintings are acknowledged as being the most accurate and authentic paintings of 19th century carriages, stage and mail coaches.

This painting shows one of Henderson's own carriage horses with its two handlers in a stable. Henderson drove a team of greys, and the initials C.C.[H.] can be seen on the horse's blanket. This private scene is less typical for Henderson and shows the artist's understanding of the equine subject and his affinity for capturing the sensitive interactions between man and horse.

Mounted on backing paper. A window has been cut in the backing paper verso to expose the verso of the drawing. 

Monogrammed lower right. The backing paper has been inscribed: 'Painter Charles Cooper Henderson' along with a cataloguing accession number. 
In excellent condition.
20.3cm x 29.5cm.

Charles Cooper Henderson (1803-1877) was born in Chertsey Surrey. His father, John Henderson (1764–1843), was an amateur artist and patron, and his brother was the antiquary and collector John Henderson (1797–1878), who bequeathed a large collection of works to the British Museum.

Henderson trained under Samuel Prout. Many of Henderson's paintings were engraved by himself and others, and prints of his coaching scenes are valued and collected. His works are in a number of public collections, including the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Paul Mellon Foundation.

This work is one of a fascinating collection of equestrian pictures we have for sale 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.

Text copyright © 2017 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JJ-002

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