National horseracing museum collection

The Oak Room

The Oak Room

Since the reign of Charles II, racing art has captured a sense of the awe and excitement associated with the sport. Early native sporting artists like John Wootton and James Seymour created countless portraits of early champions, celebrating the strength and speed of the Thoroughbred racehorse.

Later in the century, a new age of scientific discovery and enlightenment shaped the development of equine painting. The preeminent sporting artist George Stubbs depicted racehorses with new anatomical precision and influenced a new generation of naturalistic equestrian portraiture.

By the early nineteenth century, horseracing had developed into a popular public attraction. There was a growing demand for portraits of famous winners or pictures of particular races. Artists began to produce paintings with a view to creating more affordable reproduction engravings. The sport and art of horseracing had become a popular commodity.

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