Skip to main content

Basil Nightingale


The son of an equestrian and sporting subjects Artist of some note – Robert Nightingale 1815-1895, who exhibited at the RA.

Basil Nightingale was a sporting painter in both oil, pastel and watercolour. He worked near Melton Mowbray for some time, where he painted the famous portrait of ‘Tom Firr’ huntsman to The Quorn on his horse ‘Whitelegs.’

In 1902 he moved to Leamington in Warwickshire. He was an excellent sportsman and a courageous rider to hounds. A fine Artist who painted with humour, always making his subject the most important feature. The backgrounds where normally painted in grey or brown washes to complement his subject, but they rarely intrude.

He painted Lord Lonsdale, better known as ‘The Yellow Earl’ for his habit of laying on a fleet of yellow carriages to convey guests and hunt servants to his meets at the Quorn and Cottesmore of which he was Master.

Nightingale painted Lord Lonsdale leaping a railway track. A daring feat seconded only by the Artist’s own courageous record!

His painting of the Duke of Westminster’s ‘Ormonde’ the Triple Crown winner in 1886, with Fred Archer up, was sold at the Lowther Castle sale (1947) by order of the Earl of Lonsdale.

Today we find that very few of his works were published as prints. Many originals were pastel, oil or watercolour. Frequently painted on a ‘buff’ paper. He was clearly extremely fond of foxhunting, as many of his works suggest. Occasionally there are wonderful examples of Ladies riding side-saddle out hunting. In my experience, he occasionally painted variations and more than one of a particular painting. However, I don’t think he was alone in this practice!

I also purchase his work. Please feel very welcome to contact me.

Thank you.

Ref: M A Wingfield and Lindsey Knapp (Victoria Gallery. Cheshire)