Artist biography

THOMAS SPENCER active 1740–1756

Painter of horses. His career is obscure, but he was evidently an associate (?and pupil) of James Seymour, whose style he followed, and with whom he was associated in a series of racehorse portraits published by Thomas Butler. Both may have worked for Butler, bookseller, publisher of sporting prints and advertiser of his readiness to supply sporting paintings (some of which bear Butler's own name) to gentlemen who wanted them. On Seymour's death in 1752, Vertue noted ‘a paragraph in the news papers pufft to the highest pitch for drawing horses - but this was to notify a scholar he had named Spencer, who follows the same business’ (III, p.86).

Published in:
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988