ORME, Edward (publisher) - After Samuel HOWITT (1756-1822)
Horse Racing. La Course de Chevaux
London: Edward Orme, 1 January 1807. Aquatint engraving, coloured by hand, by James Godby and Henri Merke (watermark: 'J. Whatman 1805'). Image size (including text): 12 x 17 3/8 inches. Sheet size: 17 1/2 x 22 1/8 inches.
A fine image from 'Orme's Collection of British Field Sports': "the finest and most important sporting book of the last two centuries" (Schwerdt)
Samuel Howitt, "genius, artist, sportsman", concentrated his considerable artistic talents on picturing scenes of horse-racing and hunting in all its aspects. Born in Nottinghamshire, England, Howitt was largely self-taught ,"although he must have been helped by his companions George Morland, Rowlandson and John Raphael Smith. Howitt's watercolours of hunting, shooting and racing have delightful spontaneity. An enthusiastic sportsman himself, he had sufficient family money to paint at first only for his own and his friends pleasure. However, this fortune was quickly dissipated and Howitt moved to London... [He made a living], partly by etching at which he was extremely skilled. As an artist he was prolific, more than 150 of his designs were published in The Sporting Magazine. He illustrated Beckford's Thoughts on Hunting, and other books, including Orme's Collection of British Field Sports... The light touch of his pen, the delicacy of his brushwork and his experience of field sports ensured all that he drew was animated and accurate." (Charles Lane British Racing Prints pp.132-133).
Cf. Abbey Scenery 14; Lane British Sporting Prints p.133; Mellon British Sporting and Animal Drawings p.106; Siltzer p.164; cf. Schwerdt II, p.53; Siltzer p.164; cf.Tooley 273.