John Frederick Herring Sr England

9-12-1795 London, ENG – 9-23-1865 London, ENG

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Herring Sr, John Frederick

The first eighteen years of John Frederick Herring Sr. life were spent in London, where his greatest interests were drawing and horses. In the year 1814, at the age of 18, he moved to Doncaster in the north of England, arriving in time to witness the Duke of Hamilton's "William" win the St. Leger Stakes horse race. By 1815, Herring had married Ann Harris; his sons John Frederick Herring, Jr., Charles Herring, and Benjamin Herring were all to become artists, while his two daughters, Ann and Emma, both married painters.

In Doncaster, England, Herring was employed as a painter of inn signs and coach insignia on the sides of coaches, and his later contact with a firm owned by a Mr. Wood led to Herring's subsequent employment as a night coach driver. John Frederick Herring Sr. spent his spare time painting portraits of horses for inn parlors, and he became known as the "artist coachman". Herring's talent was recognized by wealthy customers, and he began painting hunters and racehorses for the gentry.

In 1830, John Frederick Herring, Senior left Doncaster for Newmarket, England, where he spent three years before moving to London, England. In London, Herring experienced financial difficulties and was given financial assistance by W. T. Copeland, who commissioned many paintings, including some designs used for the Copeland Spode bone china. In 1840-1841, Herring visited Paris, painting several pictures, on the invitation of the the Duke of Orleans, son of the French King Louis-Phillipe.

In 1845, John Frederick Herring Sr. was appointed Animal Painter to HRH the Duchess of Kent, followed by a subsequent commission from the ruling Queen Victoria, who remained a patron for the rest of his life.

In 1853, Herring moved to rural Kent in the southeast of England and stopped painting horse portraits. He spent the last 12 years of his life at Meopham Park near Tonbridge, where he lived as a country squire. He then broadened his subject matter by painting agricultural scenes and narrative pictures, as well as his better known sporting works of hunting, racing and shooting.

A highly successful and prolific artist, John Frederick Herring Sr. ranks along with Sir Edwin Landseer as one of the more eminent animal painters of mid-nineteenth century Europe.

Movement: Victorian Classicism
Traveled: France
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