Known as one of the first sporting artists of his era focusing on equine paintings, James Seymour paintings have hung in the home of the 6th Duke of Somerset in the 1700s and prestigious galleries today.
1702 – 1752
The son of a banker, gold smith, diamond and art dealer, James Seymour was around horses and art from a young age. Entirely self-taught through hours of studying the equine paintings his father would sell, he soon became fascinated by the horse breeding friends of his father, gaining an interest horse racing. His first studies of horse heads are currently in a permanent collection in the British Museum. James Seymour Sr. was a member of the exclusive Genteman’s Club for artists and art enthusiasts, the Virtuosi Club of St Luke, in which led to his son befriending many top artists in that time. father’s collection.
It is believed that James also bred and raced horses of his own, becoming a favorite artist among the social elite. His first dated painting was created in 1721, a very busy time if this artist’s history. Several of his works were engraved and he had several patrons who supported his work continuously, including the 6th Duke of Somerset. The Duke commissioned him to decorate a room in his Petworth House with portraits of his racehorses, but the project was never completed due to a disagreement between them.
Later in life, James was deep in debt, after spending most of his money on horses, gambling and women. He died in his early 50s in London.