A contemporary of George Stubbs (1724-1806) and Sawrey Gilpin (1733-1807), Francis Sartorius recorded scenes from all aspects of the eighteenth century sporting and equestrian world. He established himself throughout England and enjoyed popularity from many patrons including the Dukes of Cumberland and Grafton, Lord Grosvenor and Lord Rockingham. Regularly exhibiting from the London venues such as the Free Society of Artists and the Royal Academy, Sartorius became renowned for a slightly naive, old-fashioned style. Francis Sartorius was a fashionable equestrian artist, painting more portraits of winners on turf than any other artist of the second half of the 18th century. Francis Sartorius's prolific career provides an invaluable documentation of English country life in the 1700s.
Francis Sartorius (1734-1804)
Both son and pupil of the prolific maritime painter Dominic Serres (1722-1793), J.T. Serres’s career was given a head start owing to his father’s artistic connections, enabling him to exhibit regularly at the Royal Academy between 1780 and 1825. His reputation for draughtsmanship was rewarded with the appointment of Master of Drawing at the Royal Naval College in Chelsea. Further recognition followed as he replaced his father as Marine Painter to the King, while in 1800 he became Marine Draughtsman to the Admiralty. John Thomas Serres was soon travelling by sea throughout the expanding empire, particularly the Mediterranean, recording coastlines and documenting enemy positions. A selection of these works were later illustrated in the publication ‘The Little Sea Torch’ (1801).
John Thomas Serres (1759-1825)
Thomas Whitcombe was a prolific and dedicated marine artist, regularly exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1783 and 1824. Much travelled, Thomas Whitcombe's output became topographical as well as depicting naval battles and skirmishes, and this made him very popular with a British public hungry for knowledge of their fledgling Empire. Thomas Whitcombe was best known for producing 50 paintings to illustrate "The Naval Achievements of Great Britain", which were engraved and sold particularly well at the time. Thomas Whitcombe's work is crisp and fresh with great attention to detail, but it is Thomas Whitcombe's choice of varying subject matter that marks him out from his various contemporaries.
Thomas Whitcombe (1752-1824)
Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, John Wilson Carmichael was apprenticed to a ship builder before becoming a marine artist. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, and was then asked by the illustrated London news to cover the Crimean War in the Baltic from 1855. John Wilson Carmichael subsequently became one of the best of the Victorian maritime artists, along with E.W.Cooke and Clarkson Stanfield.
John Wilson Carmichael (1800-1868)
Kuhnert trained under the animal painter Paul Meyerheim in Berlin, where he first mastered the art of rendering animal fur, hair, and muscles. His talents were noted by his teachers, who advised him to devote himself entirely to animal painting. Enthusiastically taking their advice, and in pursuit of this subject, he traveled extensively in Africa and the East where he was captivated by the wild beauty of these landscapes, ultimately devoting his career and artistic talent to the depiction of exotic wildlife.
A keen hunter, Wilhelm Kuhnert returned to Africa and the Far East year after year in the hunt for both game and subjects for his art, winning him the accolade of the writer and critic J.G. Millais, who enthused that:
`...there is no finer exponent of African mammals than Wilhelm Kuhnert. We who have traveled do not need to be told that his studies from nature are correct. His lions, elephants, zebras and antelopes are so real that we feel we are gazing at them on the plains of East Africa. The landscapes are simple but intense. Sunlight is there, and the tree and grass are just those that grow in the habitat of these species. Kuhnert has, as it were, got inside the very skin of African life, and draws you insensibly within the charmed circle. To the big game hunter - the man who loves to observe in preference to the man who only shoots - his views of wild life are complete because you know he has been through the mill himself, and studies with humility'.
As a draughtsman Wilhelm Kuhnert was supreme, working up his compositions quickly so he could capture the essence of his subjects before they moved away.
Wilhelm Kuhnert (German, 1865-1926)