ENGLISH SCHOOL, 19th century
[Fox Hunting] Unkeneling Plate 1; Breaking Cover Plate 2; In Full Cry Plate 3; The Death Plate 4
[London: circa 1830]. Aquatints, coloured by hand. Image size (including text): 6 x 7 3/4 inches approx. Sheet size: 8 x 10 inches approx. 13 1/2 x 15 1/8 inches.
A fine complete series of four anonymous prints of hunting scenes, possibly after the Alkens.
The style and naming of these prints suggests an Alken origin for the series. Siltzer records a number of series by the Alken family in which the first plate is titled "Unkennelling." This title appears to be unique to them and supports the supposition that the present series are after the Alkens.
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)
Cf. Siltzer pp.57-76.