Walter Shaw Sparrow, British Sporting Artists, 1965 edition
David Dalby of York (British fl.1794-1836) was one of Yorkshire’s leading equine and sporting artists. He created paintings of horses that enjoyed great popularity throughout the nineteenth century. He was considered to be in his prime in around the 1820s, although his work still commanded considerable sums well into the 1890s. He was known for painting his horses typically in an upstanding, elegant pose, set into softly detailed landscape backgrounds such as in the painting shown here. Sporting art biographer Walter Shaw Sparrow wrote in 1922 that his paintings remained popular because 'he has a naturalness of expression, alert and wide awake with sportsmanly observation'.
He lived in York, moving briefly to Leeds it is said because he offended the local sherrif with a caricature which was regarded as libellous at the time. Dalby often signed himself ‘Dalby York’ and his paintings are to be found throughout Yorkshire in both private and public collections including York Art Gallery and Scarborough Art Gallery.
Dalby was popular with his Yorkshire patrons, for whom he painted racehorses, equestrian portraits and hunting scenes. Among these patrons was Richard Watt, Bishop of Burton, whose collection of horse portraits was unmatched in the North of England. In 1824 he produced a set of three paintings depicting ‘Lord Harewood’s Hunt’. His racehorse paintings included the St Leger winner ‘St Patrick’ and he also painted the father and son ‘Blacklock’ and ‘Velocipede’, the winner of the St Leger in 1828.
Dalby died in 1836 and was buried at St Michael le Belfry Church in York.
Edward Brown of Coventry (1841-1891), A bay hunter in a landscape, 1862
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British and European paintings and sculpture from the 16th To 19th century