ALKEN JR., After Henry, (1810-1894)
London: J. McQueen, 37 Great Marlborough Street & 32 rue de Dunkerque, Paris, 21 April 1871. Aquatint, printed in colours and finished by hand, by J. Summers. Image size (including text): 17 1/4 x 30 inches. Sheet size: 27 x 39 1/2 inches.
A fine copy of this dramatic image from the 'McQueen's Racings' series. A sister plate 'The Winning Post' was also published.
[Samuel] Henry Alken Jr (called Henry Gordon Alken), son of Henry Thomas Alken (1785-1851), was one of five members of the same family who collectively provided an invaluable record of the sporting scene during the late-18th and 19th centuries. Henry Alken Jr.'s work on the Epsom Derbys from 1865 to 1872 are particularly valuable as "few other sporting artists were engaged in painting action pictures of racing" (Charles Lane British Racing Prints p. 76).
In the present plate, Alken provides the viewer with an almost jockey's-eye-view of the course, as the runners round Tattenham Corner and the long run down hill to the finishing post comes into view. The track lined by cheering crowds, interspersed with impassive policemen providing an interesting contrast to all the frantic activity going on around them.
Lane British Racing Prints p. 82; Siltzer p.76.