Samuel Henry Alken 1810-1894

The elder son of Henry Thomas Alken, he was born in Ipswich. He had a talent as a sporting artist but un-scrupulously signed his work ‘H. Alken’ to pass it off as that of his father. He was also known as Henry Gordon Alken in an attempt to distinguish him from his father.


Born in an artistic dynastic family, he possessed the talent of a sporting artist but roguishly signed his work “H. Alken” to pass it off as that of his father. Having said this, each artist had their own style of painting in Alken family but Samuel Henry graced the walls and brushes with the artistic paintings with less peculiarities, and much more similarities just like his father, Thomas Henry. Contrary to his father, Samuel Henry wasn’t regarded a master artist but historical paintings of Alken family suggests that he was the second top artist after his father whom paintings had a lasting effect on two generations.


His paintings would often be related to a variety of different coloured horses including a grey, chestnut, and bay in his group composition which can give us a little clue. Moreover, If you witness a lady riding side-saddle could be signified as one of his distinctive paintings that were not common before the 1840. Much like Thomas Henry, he was loaded with humorous, wit, and wisdom which used to render a sense of skilled identification at that time. Undoubtedly, the Alken family was a prominent popularity as a skilled identification for that age. He implicitly satirised the eccentricities of upper class through his works as well.


Samuel Alken Henry has aesthetically incorporated much details in his paintings, which requires so much observations to comprehend his compositions many a times. His most appreciated and well-known paintings include “The Meet”, “A Pair of Coaching Scene” and “Wild Dayrell” which follow a hunt from the beginning to the end. Henry Junior died in 1894 and is remembered for his works that reflected the sport in art and aesthetics.