Richard Barrett Davis (1782-1854)
Sir Roger De Coverly and his Hounds 1843
Signed, Oil on Canvas, 90 x 116cm
Richard Barrett Davis was an important Victorian Horse painter and landscape artist, born in Watford in 1782. In 1789 his father became a huntsman to George III's private harriers and it was through him that Davis' sketches caught the attention of George III who in turn persuaded Sir Francis Bourgeois (1756-1807) to tutor the young Barrett Davis.
He studied at the Royal Academy Schools where he first exhibited in 1802. He joined the Society of British Artists in 1829 and was appointed animal painter to William IV in 1831.
From 1802 Davis exhibited annually at the Royal Academy for the next fifty years and from 1808 he exhibited at the British Institution and also at the Society of British Arts in 1831. The subject of this painting was also the name of a loveable if slightly ridiculous English Squire character from the Spectator (1711) who represented the values of an old country gentleman, making typical Tory politics of such a person harmless but silly. It is also the name of an English country dance.