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John Wootton ?1682–1764
Lady Mary Churchill at the Death of the Hare
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1060 x 1556 mm
Acquisition Presented by Paul Mellon through the British Sporting Art Trust 1979
Not on display
The young lady mounted on a grey mare is thought to be Lady Mary Churchill, the illegitimate daughter of the late Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. She watches as the hounds form a circle around the hunt servant, who ceremonially presents the dead hare.
Wootton was the first distinguished native sporting artist. He was greatly admired in his time for his ability to paint horses and for his decorative landscapes and battle-scenes. His hunting subjects, such as this, gave patrons an opportunity to be shown in an informal manner, more akin to the contemporary ‘conversation piece’ portrait groups.
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