An Arab grey with a groom, a dog and other figures beyond in a Turkish landscape oil on panel 43 x 61.5cm (16 15/16 x 24 3/16in).
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Australia
The present work is a rare early depiction of an Arab stallion. In relation to another portrait of such a grey horse by Wyck, Katherine Gibson made the observation: 'horse portraits such as this were not completely unknown, but they were rare and Wyck's type of smaller affordable likenesses were to become enormously popular with horse doting English country gentlefolk (Katherine Gibson, 'Jan Wyck c. 1645-1700 A Painter with "a grate deal of fire", The British Art Journal, Autumn, 2000, vol. II, p. 8, no.1). She also points out that Gilbert Coventry, an important patron of the artist, received from him as a 'humble present' a picture called 'The Little White Horse' which remains untraced.
It was with the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, owing to the King's enthusiasm for racing, that Arabian stallions were regularly introduced in England. The Byerley Turk, the Darly Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian, for example, thence became the ancestors of the celebrated English thoroughbred racehorse.