The first eighteen years of John Frederick Herring Sr. life was spent in London, where he developed an interest in drawing and horses, which he later combined into his famous paintings. In the year 1814, he moved to Doncaster in the north of England, arriving in time to see the Duke of Hamilton's horse William win the St. Leger Stakes race.
In Doncaster, Herring Sr. was employed as a painter of signs for inn's and coach insignia on coach doors, later John Frederick Herring Sr. next job was as a night coach driver and when he was not working during the day he spent his time painting portraits of horses for the Inns. He became known as the "artist coachman", Herring's Sr. talent was recognized by rich customers, and they asked him to paint them hunting and also their racehorses.
In 1830, John Frederick Herring, Sr. left Doncaster for Newmarket, where he spent three years before moving to London. In London, Herring Sr. experienced money troubles and was given financial help by William Taylor Copeland, who recognized his talent and commissioned many paintings, some of which ended up being used for Copeland Spode bone china.
John Frederick Herring, Sr. added to his signature "SR" in 1836, to differentiate himself with the growing fame of his son John Frederick Herring Jr. who having been taught by his father, was painting in a similar style.
In 1840 - 1841, Herring Sr. was invited to Paris by the Duke of Orleans, the son of the French King Louis-Phillipe, to paint several pictures for the royal family. In 1845, John Frederick Herring Sr. was appointed Animal Painter to HRH the Duchess of Kent, followed by a later commission from young Queen Victoria, who remained a supporter for the rest of his life.
In 1853, Herring moved to rural Kent in the southeast of England and quit painting equestrian portraits. spending his last years at Meopham Park, where he lived as a country squire. Although he stopped painting horse portraits, he did not stop painting, instead, he changed his subject matter to depict farming scenes and narrative pictures, as well as his better-known hunting, racing works.
A successful and prolific artist, John Frederick Herring Sr. is positioned alongside with Sir Edwin Landseer as one of the most famous animal painters of mid-nineteenth century Europe.
Herring had six children, three of his four boys, John Frederick Herring, Jr., Charles Herring, and Benjamin Herring became painters, and his two daughters, Ann and Emma, both wedded painters.
Art Movement: Victorian Classicism.
Painters John Frederick Herring Sr. Influenced: John Frederick Herring Jr.
He Traveled To France.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.