Presented for sale is a historical oil painting on canvas depicting a horse, attributed to John E. Ferneley, 1782 – 1860. The painting depicts a dark dapple-grey hunter set against a hilly landscape and cloudy sky.
Handwriting on the rear of the frame reveals a possible identity of the horse, it reads: "The Hermit by Greyskin, Mount of Charles Davis (died 1867, Huntsman to the Royal Buckhounds." Hermit was the mount of the legendary British equestrian Charles Davis, Huntsman to Her Majesty and First Whip of The Royal Buckhounds from 1821 until 1866. Charles Davis is featured in the book "The Queen's Hounds and Stag-hunting Recollections" by Baron Thomas Lister Ribblesdale and Edward Burrows. The book features an illustration on its cover of Charles Davis astride Hermit. There is a chapter in which Hermit is mentioned as Mr. Davis's favorite mount, and he is depicted riding Hermit in several well-known paintings.
The artist, John Ferneley, was born in Thrussington, Leicestershire, England in 1782 and became known as one of the foremost and greatest 19th century painters of sporting horses and hunting scenes. He was quite prolific, and his commissions included many Royals and famous personalities such as Beau Brummel and the Count d'Orsay. He was known to have depicted Charles Davis in at least one or two other paintings on different mounts.
The painting is signed (and possibly dated) in the lower left hand corner, almost invisibly, as the signature is dark against a dark ground. Many of Ferneley's paintings are listed without a signature as many are very hard to find and sometimes purposely hidden. The last photo shows the signature under UV light, and rendered in black and white to show contrast. The painting is in very good condition with some slight in-painting, and is housed in its original frame, which has also had some minor restoration.
Size of Frame: 34 ¼" Height by 29 1/8" Width
Size of Image: 29 ½" Height by 24 ½" Width.
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