Cavalry on Manoeuvres
Cavalry on Manoeuvres
Born in about 1815 at Melton Mowbray, he was the eldest son of the important sporting artist John E Ferneley. The latters other two children, Claude Lorraine and Sarah, were also artists.
He spent his early life at Elgin Lodge and his father was a major influence on his artistic development and was in all probability his sole teacher. His father took him on trips to London and in 1832 to Durham and York where he later settled in about 1839, probably because of the large number of patrons in the area. His first work, of a Whipping-in, was engraved and published in the New Sporting Magazine in May 1833 and was followed in the next year by an engraving of a Hunter.
John Ferneley Snr. had established a significant career as an equestrian artist in the old English tradition, largely due to being a pupil of Ben Marshall. His son imitated him at first very closely and at times almost is the equal of the master but the bulk of his oeuvre shows a more marked nineteenth century prettier style. Sally Mitchell says of him in The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists, "….Ferneley was still considerably better than many of his contemporaries." He produced equestrian hunting and military groups and single portraits, many on a large scale, (Christies sold a view of Hyde Park in 1989 for £49,500 which measured 30 x 60 inches) and his decision to live in Yorkshire would appear to be based on the number of commissions from the officers of the Cavalry stationed there. Some of his paintings have York added after his signature.
Some other examples of subjects painted by John Ferneley Jnr on a military theme include:"Lord Gerard, Colonel of the Lancashire Hussars, receiving his Regiment", "Troop of the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry", "2nd Life Guards", "1st Hussars", "11th Royal Dragoon
Guards", "7th Dragoon Guards", "10th Royal Hussars on Manoeuvres below a Castle" and
"Colonel Williams, 3rd Hussars".
He died in Manchester without marrying and few records of his life have survived.
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
Conversation Pieces - Sacheverell Sitwell
A Dictionary of British Animal Painters - Lt. Colonel J C Wood
1815 - 1862
Oil on canvas
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A Portrait of a Boy in grey Silk Tunic and blue Cape, standing in a Landscape holding a Bow with his Spaniel by his side
A larder still-life with a cockerel hanging from a hook and a sleeping boy with game and a gun at the window
A full-length portrait of a Hanoverian officer holding a spontoon standing in a landscape, a military encampment by a castle beyond
Portrait of a noblewoman in ermine-trimmed cape, feathered and jewelled headdress, holding a gold locket