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John Frederick Herring Junior was the eldest son of the renowned sporting painter John Frederick Herring Senior. His grandfather, Benjamin Herring Senior, was born in America under the British flag but was Dutch by descent and the family produced five sporting artists.
There is some confusion as to his date of birth because another John was born in 1815 but it is probably the case that this one died very young. John Jnr. was probably born in 1820 but was definitely baptised with his sister Sarah on 22nd May 1821 at St Mary’s Doncaster. He is believed to be the first of the three sons to assist his father but it is also thought that the other two sons, Benjamin Jnr and Charles, had a major disagreement with their father over John Jnr. working so closely in his father’s style and signing almost identically.
John Jnr. spent the later part of his life at Fulbourn near Cambridge having married an artist, Kate Rolfe but earlier in his career had lived in various addresses in London in areas such as Piccadilly and Haymarket. His hobby was apparently constantly adding bits to his house, a pursuit that nearly caused his death with the collapse of an arcade which he was constructing. Despite his father’s concern that his son’s heavy smoking - the former asserting that “for he would smoke six pipes at a time” he lived to a ripe old age, dying in Cambridgeshire in 1907.
Despite imitating much of his father’s work, particularly farmyard scenes, John Jnr was a very competent artist who well understood his subject matter and was of the opinion that to really know how to paint horses one had to be “brought up in the stable”. He worked in both oils and watercolours and his early work is very close to that of his father, particularly in subject, although can usually be differentiated by being more tightly worked and without his father’s confident fluidity. John Frederick Herring Snr was a master and his eldest son, despite being an excellent painter, was not quite as good and this is reflected in the prices for the two.
John Jnr exhibited fifty-three works at the Royal Society of British Artists at Suffolk Street, fifteen at the Royal Academy, ten at the British Institute and four at other venues. These included titles such as: “The Meet - Full Cry - and the Death“, “Watering the Team”, “Horses, Pigs and Poultry”, “Going to Plough” and “A Misty Morning”
Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists - Sally Mitchell
Dictionary of Victorian Painters - Christopher Wood
A Book of Sporting Painters - Shaw-Sparrow
British Sporting Artists - Shaw-Sparrow
A Dictionary of British Landscape Painters, M. H. Grant
The Dictionary of British Artists – J Johnson and A Greutzner
|Height||21.50 cm||(8.46 inches)|
|Width||26.50 cm||(10.43 inches)|