Saturday, June 20, 2015

Richard Ansdell, R.A. - 1815-1885; THE DEATH OF SIR WILLIAM LAMBTON

Richard Ansdell, R.A. - 1815-1885
signed and indistinctly dated l.r.: Richd. Ansdell/ 1847
oil on canvas
117 by 269cm., 46 by 106in.

About this painting: This dramatic historical scene depicts the aftermath of the defeat of the prominent Royalist in the English Civil War Sir William Lambton (1599-1644) at Long Marston, west of York, on 2 July 1644, a Parliamentary victory that led to the overall control of Northern England by the Parliamentary forces. Lambton's body is carried by his loyal soldiers, overseen by Thomas Fairfax, parliamentary Commander-in-Chief and the Roundhead army moves in procession with their captives and a herd of seized sheep and cattle. Lambton's dejected page leads the knight's white pony laden with his fine clothes and his loyal deer-hound pathetically licks his master's hand as he passes by.

In 1842 Ansdell had painted an earlier scene from the story of William Lambton, depicting the moment of his death (Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston) which had been very popular with the critics and public when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy. More

Richard Ansdell RA (11 May 1815 – 20 April 1885) was an English oil painter of animals and genre scenes. He was also an engraver. He was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, where he was educated at The Liverpool Blue Coat school for orphans. He had a natural talent for art from an early age, and after leaving school worked for a portrait painter in Chatham in Kent, and also spent time as a sign painter in the Netherlands.

He first exhibited at the Liverpool Academy in 1835, becoming a student there the following year. His animal and rural subjects proved to be popular and he soon attracted wealthy patrons. His first exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, was in 1840, with two paintings. This was followed, in 1841 by "The Earl of Sefton and party returning from hunting", in 1842 "The death of Sir William Lambton at the Battle of Marston Moor", in 1843 "The Death" and in 1844 "Mary Queen of Scots returning from the chase to Stirling Castle". He went on to exhibit pictures every year at the Academy until 1885 (149 canvases in all). In 1846 he exhibited his first picture, "A Drover's Halt" at the British Institution, London, and went on to show 30 canvases there.

In 1850, Ansdell started collaborating on pictures with Thomas Creswick, who specialised in landscapes. He also worked with William Powell Frith and John Phillip, with whom he travelled to Spain in 1856 and painted a series of Spanish subjects. He returned to Spain alone the following year to paint more pictures there.

In 1855, Andsell was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition for his works, "The Wolf Slyer" and "Taming the Drove". He also won the "Heywood medal" three times for his work at the Manchester Royal Institution. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA) in 1861 and a Royal Academician (RA) in 1870.

During part of his career he kept a "summer house" at Lytham St Annes, in the borough of Fylde, where a district, Ansdell, is named after him. He is the only English artist to have been honoured in this way.

Ansdell died at "Collingwood Tower" near Frimley, Surrey in April 1885. He was buried at Brookwood Cemetery.

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