ALKEN, After Henry Thomas (1785-1851)
Fores's Sporting Scraps. Plate 2. Hunting
London: Messrs. Fores, 18 March 1850. Four aquatint engravings on one plate, coloured by hand, by J. Harris. Image size (including text): 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches (each aquatint). Sheet size: 17 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches.
A fine example of Fores's excellent series, with images after one of the greatest British sporting artists.
According to Siltzer the series was completed with eight plates (each with four images): one on racing, three on hunting, one on steeple-chasing and one on coursing. Henry Thomas Alken was born into what became an artistic dynasty. He studied under the miniature painter J.T. Barber and exhibited his first picture (a miniature portrait) at the Royal Academy when he was sixteen. From about 1816 onwards he "produced an unending stream of paintings, drawings and engravings of every type of field and other sporting activity. He is best remembered for his hunting prints, many of which he engraved himself until the late 1830s.... To many, sporting art is 'Alken', and to describe his work or ability is quite unnecessary." (Charles Lane British Racing Prints pp.75-76).