Richard Roper

The Match between Aaron and Driver at Maidenhead, Aug. 1754: Driver Winning the Third Heat

1754

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 883 x 1216 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Paul Mellon through the British Sporting Art Trust 1979
Reference
T02367

Display caption

This is the last of a set of three pictures, all inscribed with details of the event, showing the heats of a race held in 1754 between the chestnut Driver and the bay Aaron. At a score of one race all, this captures the exciting closing moments of the final heat, which won Driver the match.

Roper was one of numerous untrained artists who supplied a market for factually precise records of particular animals or sporting events.

Gallery label, February 2010

Catalogue entry

T02367 THE MATCH BETWEEN AARON AND DRIVER AT MAIDENHEAD, AUGUST 1754: DRIVER WINNING THE THIRD HEAT? 1754

Inscribed ‘DRIVER and AARON Running the third Heat at Maidenhead, August 1754./ Driver was Rode by Thos. Arnold who won. Aaron was Rod by Sam Tate’ across bottom of canvas
Oil on canvas, 34 3/4 × 47 7/8 (88.1 × 121.6)
Presented by Mr Paul Mellon KBE through the British Sporting Art Trust 1979
Prov.:...; as one of a set of three, anon. sale Sotheby's 25 July 1928 (99), bt. Lambert; Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd., 1929;...; Jack Gilbey-Ellis, from whom purchased by Paul Mellon 1970.
Exh: British Sporting Artists, Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd., 1929 (106);
British Sporting Painting, Fermoy Art Gallery, Kings Lynn 1979 (7).
Lit: W. Shaw Sparrow, A Book of Sporting Painters, 1931, p.54; Egerton, 1978, p.110, no.105, pl.40.

This is the third in a set of three paintings depicting the three heats run in a match between Mr Lamego's chestnut, Driver, and Mr Roger's bay, Aaron. Driver won the first heat, Aaron the second, and the match was decided by Driver's win of the third heat. The other two paintings remain in Mr Mellon's collection; that depicting the first heat is inscribed R. Roper pinx! (details of the legends inscribed on both are given in Egerton, 1978). In each of the three pictures, the two horses gallop towards a finishing-post on the left, whipped-on by their jockeys. Race meetings were held at Maidenhead until c.1815.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981

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