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This portrait depicts two young aristocrats, Dudley Alexander Sydney Cosby, Lord Sydney on the left and Colonel John Dyke Acland on the right. Dressed in quasi-historical clothing invented by the artist, they are mimicking a medieval or Renaissance hunt; the dead game they leave in their trail underlining their noble blood and aristocratic right to hunt. This painting celebrates their friendship by linking it to an imaginary chivalric past, when young lords pursued ‘manly’ activities together against a backdrop of ancient forest. The subjects are shown in perfect harmony – at one with each other and joint masters over nature.

November 2015