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What we do know about John Cordrey is to be deduced from his paintings, which, apart from the occasional hunting scene, are virtually all depictions of stage- or mail-coaches and other horse- drawn vehicles. They are drawn in a bright, wholly naïf style typical of the late-Georgian folk- painter. He was, though, surprisingly prolific and numerous examples of his work survive.
Cordrey’s painting vary little in concept: the horses travel from right to left and are silhouetted
against the sky and in precise step with each other. Primitive though the execution of the paintings is, they are full of minute and exacting detail: it may well be that that Cordrey was also a coach- painter himself, for his knowledge of the coaches and their accoutrements is apparent in his paintings. His pictures are a valuable record of a mode of transport which, since the development of Turnpike Trusts, had become a relatively speedy (if uncomfortable) alternative to the miseries of road journeys in the earlier 18th century and which for a few decades were at the zenith, prior to the arrival of the railways.
As one might expect of a folk-painter, the depiction of the coat-of-arms is not heraldically accurate as Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms has confirmed, though Cordrey has used the Garter around the arms, suggesting he had intended to depict the coach and four of a Garter Knight.
|Height||21.00 inch||(53.34 cm)|
|Width||38.00 inch||(96.52 cm)|