A wonderful painting of a dappled grey champion Shire mare named Rokeby Fuchsia in a stable, by Henry Frederick Lucas Lucas. Rokeby Fuchsia was a famous champion Shire mare foaled in 1887, by Lincolnshire Boy (sire) and Lady Grey (dam) by Noble Devonshire. The breeders were WH & J Spalton of Derby. The mare was originally called Bowbridge Fuchsia and owned by Mr. J Camden of Aston Magna in Warwickshire, who first began showing her.
In 1891, she was sold to Mr John Parnell of Rugby and her name was changed to Rokeby Fuchsia. Parnell owned a number of show horses and under his ownership she began winning a number of championships and key prizes. At the Essex Agricultural Show of 1892 she won 1st prize in the Shire Mare class, the championship cup and the Shire Horse Society’s Gold Medal for the best mare. In February 1893, she won first prize and took both the Challenge cup and the Championship cup at the annual Shire Horse Show at Islington. In the same year she won first prizes at the Royal Agricultural Show, the Leicestershire agricultural show and Warwickshire Agricultural show. In 1894, she again took the first prize, Challenge cup and Championship cup at the Shire Horse Show. She then went on to win the Champion prize for Best Shire Mare at the Royal Agricultural Show of June 1894.
Her success undoubtedly prompted her owner, John Parnell to commission this portrait from Lucas Lucas who also lived in Rugby. An illustration of the painting was published in the Land and Water magazine of March, 1894. It was also referred to in an article about Rokeby Fuchsia by the Rugby Advertiser of 10 March, 1894 which described it as “an excellent painting”. A Photograph of the mare titled “Mr. John Parnell’s Rokeby Fuchsia” later appeared in the 1897 book ‘Points of the Horse’ by M. Horace Hayes, facing page 254.
Henry Frederick Lucas was born on 24 March, 1848 in Louth, Lincolnshire, the son of St. John Wells Lucas, a surgeon and Louisa Lucas née Bazalgette. His mother died when he was young and by 1871 the family had moved to Withington in Lancashire where Lucas became an architect’s pupil, helping to produce drawings. At some point in his late 20’s, he decided to become an artist and although little is known about his education, given the quality of his work he most likely studied art and animal anatomy. It is unclear why he started signing his works as Henry Frederick Lucas-Lucas, but this may well have been to distinguish himself from other artists.
He married Sarah Blanche Mordacque on 26 June, 1877 at St Peter Port, Guernsey and they moved to Rugby shortly afterwards, living at Clifton Road. By 1879, Lucas had established himself as an animal artist and was living in North Street. Their only child St John Welles Lucas Lucas (1879-1934) later attended Oxford and became a poet, publishing works from 1904.
Lucas specialised in sporting paintings usually featuring horses or dogs. Many of his works were portraits of racehorses, polo ponies and hunters, but he also painted hunting scenes, including the Pytchley Hunt and polo matches. His paintings were popular within the sporting community and gained him many commissions, including those from patrons such Earl Beatty and Sir Humphrey de Trafford. Many polo ponies and hunters that were owned by them were painted by Lucas. Some of the polo ponies that played in the Westchester Cup matches were also painted by him including Charmer, owned by Walter Jones and Blue Sleeve owned by Pat Nichols in 1909. Some of his paintings were also published by Fores Sporting Prints including perhaps his most famous work ‘Putting in the Terrier. Although he tended to work mostly on commissions, he is known to have exhibited at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists between 1885 and 1887.
Lucas married Kathleen Liffie Beatson in October of 1890 after the death of his first wife. The couple had 5 children together and lived at Hillmorton Road, Rugby. He continued to work as an artist from his base in Rugby, following sporting events around the country. After the death of his second wife in 1935, he spent his remaining years living at Bilton Hill, Rugby and was still known to be active as an artist as late as 1939. He died in Northampton in 1943 at the age of 95. Examples of his work are held by the National Horseracing Museum, National Trust, Newport Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Museum of the Dog, New York.
|Presentation||The painting is housed in a new, English made 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 been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.|
|Image size||19.5 inches x 25.5 inches (49.5cm x 65cm)|
|Framed size||25.5 inches x 31.5 inches (65cm x 80cm)|