Francis Sartorius

British, (1734-1804)
Bay Hunter & Groom
Oil on canvas, signed

A wonderful sporting horse portrait of a bay hunter with a groom by Francis Sartorius. The horse is depicted with the groom standing in an open landscape, allowing the fine proportions of the thoroughbred mare to be seen to the best advantage. The portrait was most likely commissioned by its owner to commemorate a win.

Francis Sartorius was born in 1834, the son of John Sartorius (c1700-c1780)a German born animal painter. His father was the first of four generations of the Sartorius family of artists who came to England sometime during the 1720’s and most likely taught his son to paint.

Sartorius married Frances Lynn on 24 October, 1757 at St James’s Westminster and one of their sons John Nost Sartorius also became an artist. After the death of his first wife, he went on to marry Martha Croker on 23 July, 1765. In 1773, he began exhibiting at the Society of Artists and Free Society of Artists. Two years later in 1775, he made his debut at the Royal Academy with ‘A Favourite Horse’ from an address at 10 Meard’s Court, Dean Street, Soho. He became known for his sporting portraits of horses, attracting the patronage of figures such as the Duke of Grafton, Duke of Cumberland and the Marquis of Rockingham. Some of his portraits of famous racehorses included Snap (foaled 1750) Herod (foaled 1758), Antinous, foaled in 1758 and Eclipse (foaled 1764). He also painted a number of portraits of dogs and other animals but was perhaps best known for his horses.

From 1784, Sartorius lived at 17, Gerrard Street, Soho before moving to 1 Macclesfield Street, Gerrard-Street in Soho around 1791. From his base in London he travelled around working on commissions and also visited Ireland. As well as continuing to exhibit he also contributed works to the Sporting Magazine which were reproduced as engravings. He was married a total five times, surviving all of his wives until his own death on 5 March, 1804. He was buried on 11 March, 1804 at St Martin in the Fields.

Examples of his work are held by the Government Art Collection, National Library of Wales, National Trust, Stevenage Museum, The Tate, University of Oxford and the Yale Center for British Art.

© Benton Fine Art

Presentation The painting is housed in a period gilt frame which is in excellent condition.
Condition As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having just been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.
Image Size 24.25 inches x 29.25 inches (61.5cm x 74.5cm)
Framed Size 32 inches x 37 inches (81.5cm x 94cm)