Charles Cooper Henderson

Sportsmen in Scottish Dress Driving to the Moors

c.1845

Artist
Charles Cooper Henderson 1803–1877
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 330 x 613 mm
frame: 448 x 722 x 71 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Mrs F. Ambrose Clark through the British Sporting Art Trust 1982
Reference
T03428

Not on display

Display caption

Four sportsmen are seen in a cart. They are similarly dressed in plaids, two of them wearing tam o'shanters and the other two Glengarry bonnets. The small spring cart is laden with game bags, a retriever, a flask and a hamper. This suggests that the passengers are off to share a day's shooting. The cart is drawn by a horse within its shafts but a pony has been hitched alongside it, probably to help pull the heavy load up the hills.

Gallery label, January 1997

Catalogue entry

T03428 SPORTSMAN IN SCOTTISH DRESS DRIVING TO THE MOORS c. 1845

Oil on canvas 13 × 25 1/8 (331 × 612)
Inscribed ‘CH’ on case at back of cart
Bequeathed by Mrs F. Ambrose Clark from the collection of the late F. Ambrose Clark through the British Sporting Art Trust 1982
Prov: ...; E.J. Rousuck, from whom purchased by 1958 by F. Ambrose Clark; 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: [E.J. Rousuck], The F. Ambrose Clark Collection of Sporting Paintings, privately printed, New York 1958, p.118 (as ‘August Twelfth. The Day of St. Grouse’), repr. p.119

The four sportsmen, similarly dressed in plaids, two of them wearing tam-o'shanters and the other two Glengarry bonnets, are described by Rousuck as ‘two masters and the gillies’, perhaps because the barrels of only two guns are visible; but the cheerful manner in which they are crowded into a small spring-cart, laden with game bags, a retriever, a flask and a hamper, suggests that they are friends, of equal social standing, driving in unpretentious style to share a day's shooting.

Marylian Watney draws attention (in correspondence) to the very unusual fact that the cart is drawn not only by a horse within the shafts but also by a pony which has been hitched beside the horse, but outside the shafts: she suggests that the pony was probably hired for part of the trip ‘in order to help pull the heavy load of four stalwart gentlemen up the Scottish hills’.

Colonel Charles Lane suggests (in correspondence) a date of c. 1845 for T03428 because it has much in common with Cooper Henderson's ‘Going to the Moors’, which with its companion ‘Going to Cover’ was engraved in aquatint in 1847, published by Fores.

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

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