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ANTIQUE NUMBER SA1073322: Thomas Walker Bretland (attributed), Portrait Of A Field Master On A Grey Hunter In A Landscape - Antique Oil Painting

Thomas Walker Bretland (attributed), Portrait Of A Field Master On A Grey Hunter In A Landscape - Antique Oil Painting

£2,295    $2,975    €2,726
This mid-19th-century oil painting attributed to British artist Thomas Walker Bretland (1802-1874) depicts a mounted field master before a landscape. It was previously at Sotheby’s.
 
As a boy, Bretland developed a keen interest in animals and would sketch every horse, dog and cow that happened to amble into view. One can imagine him excited to catch a glimpse of an engraving after George Stubbs (1724-1806). Inspired by the old English master and keen to hone his skills. His father, a coach and carriage painter, was less enthusiastic however and refused to support him. Leaving the young man to duck away into the attic and draw on the walls.
 
Instead, he was apprenticed in heraldic painting, which he excelled at, and presumably worked alongside his father producing designs for carriage doors. And, in 1837, following his father’s death, he inherited the family business. Being at the helm of such a business provided Bretland with ample opportunities to connect with the aristocracy. And it was thanks to the advice of one such distinguished gentleman, Lord Middleton, that he finally decided to pursue a career as an animal painter.
 
During the early 1840s, he produced numerous sporting works for the landed gentry, particularly in Nottingham. Hunting and shooting scenes were his raison d'ętre along with horse portraiture and depictions of prize-winning cattle. The racehorse owner JS Drinkald commissioned him to paint several of his winners, with other patrons including the Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of Montrose, Lord Chesterfield and Baron Rothschild.
 
Here in this piece from around that period, he’s captured a field master atop a grey hunter before a landscape. A dark and brooding sky adds a sense of grandeur. It’s likely to be a commission for the gentleman in question and probably once hung in a fine country home.
 
Today, Thomas Walker Bretland is represented in numerous public collections including at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Nottingham City Museum, and Shug...
Antique #SA1073322, showcased on this page, originates from the 19th century. For historical context, the timeline below highlights the period when it was made:
19th Century
Famous composers historic timeline graphic to help to give historical context to the date of this antique.
ANTIQUE NUMBER SA1073322
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