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Lucy Kemp-Welch Original ‘Foxhound’ oil on canvas 1903 (2)

An Old English Foxhound with a beautiful feel and depth of colour.

I am sorry but this has now been sold.

Lucy Kemp-Welch(1869–1958) was a British painter who specialized in painting working horses. She is possibly best known for her illustrations to the 1915 edition of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. The Lucy Kemp-Welch estate has been represented by David Messum’s Fine Art since 1975. She was elected the first President of The Society of Painters c1914. Members included Alfred Munnings, Herbert Dicksee, Lionel Edwards, Frank Calderon to name just a few.

Lucy Kemp-Welch was born in Bournemouth, showing an early excellence in art, exhibiting for the first time when she was 14 years old, and moving to Bushey to study a the Hubert von Herkomer’s art school at the age of 19. Kemp-Welch believed in painting out of doors, and made numerous quick oil sketches. As one of Herkomer’s best and most favoured students, she was able to set up her own studio, in an old former inn known as ‘Kingsley.’ She took over the direction of the School after Herkomer in 1905 and ran it until 1926, when she spent several summers following Sanger’s Circus, recording the horses.

She resided in Bushey, Hertfordshire for most of her life and a major collection of her works is in Bushey Museum. They include very large paintings of wild ponies on Exmoor, galloping polo ponies, the last horse-launched lifeboat being pulled into a boiling sea, heavy working horses pulling felled timber and hard-working farm horses trudging home at the end of the day. Her interest in equine subjects extended to the use of horses in war, and she painted two Boer War scenes, ‘In Sight’: Lord Dundonald’s dash on Ladysmith (Royal Albert Memorial Museum,Exeter), and Sons of the City (private collection). During World War I, she exhibited Big Guns to the Front(National Museum of Wales, Cardiff), and The Leaders of a Heavy Gun Team(Royal ArtilleryInstitution). As well as pictures of horses, she painted other animals, flowers, and landscapes. Colt-Hunting in the New Forest(1897) became her best-known picture after being purchased for the Chantrey Collection for 500 guineas. It is in the Tate Gallery.

She published a book in 1905 ‘In the Open Country.’ This displays some beautiful illustrations giving even more insight into her work at that time.

Her work was highly respected by Sir Alfred Munnings who later became the President of The Royal Academy.

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