Heywood  Hardy (British, 1842-1933) Crossing the ford 26 3/4 x 40 1/2in (67.9 x 102.9cm)

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Lot 74
Heywood Hardy
(British, 1842-1933)
Crossing the ford 26 3/4 x 40 1/2in (67.9 x 102.9cm)

US$ 12,000 - 18,000
£ 9,300 - 14,000
Heywood Hardy (British, 1842-1933)
Crossing the ford
signed 'Heywood Hardy' (lower left)
oil on canvas
26 3/4 x 40 1/2in (67.9 x 102.9cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Frost & Reed, London;
    Private collection, New York (acquired from the above, 1960s);
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    Heywood Hardy was a prominent British painter and etcher of animals, society portraits, sporting subjects, and genre scenes during the Victorian era. Hardy was born in Chichester in Sussex in 1843 as the youngest of ten children to artist James Hardy senior (1801-1879) and his wife Elizabeth. At seventeen, he left his childhood home after a heated argument with his father and established himself in Keynsham in Somerset. There, he successfully attempted to earn a living as a painter and was appointed an Ensign in the 7th Somersetshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, a part-time organization enacted during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars for the purposes of home defense. A short time following Hardy's appointment, he borrowed money from his brother and left for Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under the renowned war painter Isidore Pils.

    Hardy returned to England in 1868 and quickly found that his services as an artist were in great demand. He received commissions to paint portraits, sporting scenes and animal studies. Among his many notable patrons were the Sitwells of Renishaw and is sure to have spent time sketching and painting at Renishaw Hall. By 1870, Hardy and his family settled in St. John's Wood in London, an area at the time popular with artists. He quickly established himself as an animal painter and during this period his career flourished. He was elected as a member of a number of societies including The Royal Society of Painters and Etchers, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters and The Royal Society of Portrait Painters. Hardy even completed a brief tour of Egypt in 1873 to paint the wildlife there and when he returned to London, he began studying comparative anatomy of animals and birds with Professor Alfred Henry Garrod, Head of the Scientific Department at the London Zoo. He made numerous illustrations for Garrod's research on the horse gait and his deeper understanding of the horse anatomy acquired during his studies with Garrod can be seen in his later works.

    From this time on until his death 1933, Hardy continued to enjoy numerous commissions annually for equestrian portraits, animal studies and hunting scenes, giving him the chance to tour many of England's great country estates. His paintings of horses riding by the seashore and those depicting riders in 18th century settings were among his most desired subjects. Crossing the ford and The young squire, serve as prime examples of both Hardy's artistic talent as a genre scene painter and his highly trained ability to portray the horse anatomy with accuracy. The romantic narratives that Hardy imagines through the figures portrayed in the present lots are complemented by the accomplished realism and majesty of his horses.
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