HERRING, After John Frederick (1795-1865)
Antonio, the Winner of the Great St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster, 1819, (Fifty Subscribers.) By Octavian, dam by Evander, out of Miss Gunpowder. The Property of Thos. Ferguson, Esq. To whom this Print is most respectfully dedicated by the Publishers
[Doncaster]: W. Sheardown and Son, . Aquatint, printed in colours and finished by hand, by Thomas Sutherland (Watermark '1825'). Image size (including text): 12 1/8 x 16 5/8 inches. Sheet size: 16 7/8 x 22 5/8 inches.
From the original 'Doncaster Gazette' series of the 'Winners of the Great St. Leger Series': a 'benchmark' sporting print in terms of the "quality of painting, engraving and printing" (Lane)
"In 1825 The Doncaster Gazette commissioned Herring to paint a series of pictures of the winners of the St. Leger starting in 1815... W. Sheardown and Sons of Doncaster published these brilliantly engraved prints (by Thomas Sutherland) in 1825... Messrs Fuller of London... continued the series until the mid-1840s. Fullers also published a similar series of Derby winners after Herring's paintings between 1827 and 1841... These prints provide a 'benchmark' in their quality of painting, engraving and printing which subsequent publishers attempted to emulate, but rarely with such success" (Lane)
Herring is an outstanding and imaginative artist who at an early age showed an aptitude for handling both riding whip and pencil. At a young age, fate took Herring to the Doncaster races where he saw the Duke of Hamilton's horse, William, win the St. Leger. The sight inspired him to attempt the art of animal-painting, in which he subsequently excelled. In addition to being a successful horse painter, Herring made his livelihood as a coachman, and for some time drove the Highflyer coach between London and York. When eventually he retired as a coachman he immediately obtained numerous commissions and was able to devote himself entirely to his art. Herring had no education in art until he definitely set up as an artist, when he worked for a short time in the studio of Abraham Cooper, R.A. He painted an immense number of racing, coaching, and other sporting subjects, many of which were published by the sporting printsellers and the sporting magazines. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists; he was elected a member of the latter society in 1841. While in later life he painted a number of subject-pictures, it was as a portrait-painter of racehorses that Herring earned his fame, and no great breeder or owner of racehorses is without some treasured production of Herring's brush.
Lane British Racing Prints p.121; Mellon British Sporting and Animal Prints p.94; Siltzer p.145.