Catalogue entry


Oil on canvas 28 × 37 (712 × 940)
Inscribed ‘J Ferneley | Melton Mowbray | 1833’ bottom centre and ‘Reveller’ b.l.
Bequeathed by Mrs F. Ambrose Clark from the collection of the late F. Ambrose Clark through the British Sporting Art Trust 1982
Prov: Commissioned by Isaac Sadler 1833;...; Sir Walter Gilbey, sold by his executors, Christie's 11 June 1915 (321) bt Banks; Tresham Gilbey, sold by his executors, Christie's 30 May 1947 (67) bt Stevens & Brown; E.J. Rousuck, by whom sold to F. Ambrose Clark by 1958; his widow Mrs F. Ambrose Clark
Exh: Tate Gallery, August–September 1982, and York City Art Gallery, March–September 1984, with other paintings from Mrs F. Ambrose Clark's Bequest (no catalogue); Paintings exhibited by the British Sporting Art Trust, Vestey Gallery, National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket, April–December 1986 (unnumbered, repr.)
Lit: Guy Paget, The Melton Mowbray of John Ferneley, Leicester 1931, Account Books p.141, no.371; [E.J. Rousuck], The F. Ambrose Clark Collection of Sporting Paintings, privately printed, New York 1958, p.90, repr.p.91

Defiance was a chestnut filly by Rubens. As a three-year-old she was owned by Isaac Sadler; she raced in his colours during 1819–20, winning the Duke of York's Plate at Ascot, a sweepstake at Bath and the St Leger Stakes at Warwick in 1819, and a Handicap sweepstakes at Cheltenham in 1820. After that year she appears to have retired as a brood mare.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986