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He was born into an artistic family in Darlton which is near Tuxford in Nottinghamshire. He was one of nine siblings of whom three became artists, his father Charles was an amateur painter, a past time he enjoyed when not working as an agent for the Duke of Norfolk and his uncle Raisley was a sculptor.
While still a child he moved to Manchester to live and remained there for the greater part of his life having established his working practice there. He only exhibited four works at the Royal Academy in London but sixty at the Manchester Institution which suggests that he did not need to advertise himself in the capital but found plenty of commissions in the north of England as well as securing a lot of work in Wales.
Occasionally he worked in conjunction with other artists with Richard Hook and Charles Wood supplying the landscapes and Calvert doing the animals or portraits. Sally Mitchell writes of him that: “His work is of a high standard, his horses well drawn, his composition is good and his detail of items such as saddlery is accurate…” J C Wood writes: “This fine Manchester artist produced robust work of quality…”
Calvert painted some portraits of prize cattle and there are at least two examples of big cat paintings: “The Royal Pair of the Jungle” and “Cheetahs” were both shown at the Royal Acdemy 1853-4. Three of his paintings were engraved and so were his best known works. “The Vine Hunt Meeting” was engraved by W H Simmons in 1844; W T Davey engraved Calvert’s 1852 R A exhibit the “Wynstay Hunt” in 1855 and “The Cheshire Hunt” was also turned into a print. Other examples of his work include: “A Huntsman (2nd Lord de Tabley); “Marianne Brocklehurst on Horseback”; “The Old Salford Five-Wheeled Omnibus” and “Three Horses of the 2nd Lord de Tabley and his Dog ‘Vic’. Some of Calvert’s paintings can be seen in the collections of the Tabley House Collection, the Silk Heritage Trust (formerly the Macclesfield Museum Trust), Salford Museum and Art Gallery and the National Trust (Tatton Park).
It is probable that the Bury in Lancashire equestrian artist Joseph Maiden, 1813-1843, was Henry Calvert’s pupil in Manchester. Calvert himself moved to Southport in the 1860s dying there in about 1869.
The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists - Sally Mitchell
Dictionary of British Landscape Painters - M H Grant
Dictionary of British Animal Painters – Colonel J C Wood
Dog Painting 1840-1940 - William Secord
The Dictionary of Victorian Painters - Christopher Wood
British Sporting Artists – Shaw Sparrow
Dictionary of Sporting Artists 1650-1990 – Mary Anne Wingfield
Dictionary of British Sporting Artists – Sydney H Paviere
|Height||63.50 cm||(25.00 inches)|
|Width||76.00 cm||(29.92 inches)|
|External Height||81.00 cm||(31.89 inches)|
|External Width||102.00 cm||(40.16 inches)|