Lucy Kemp-Welch

1869–1958

Lucy Kemp-Welch, ‘Forward the Guns!’ 1917
Forward the Guns! 1917
© David Messums Fine Art Ltd
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Biography

Lucy Elizabeth Kemp-Welch (20 June 1869 – 27 November 1958) was a British artist and teacher who specialised in painting horses. Though increasingly overlooked after the Second World War, from the late 1890s to the mid 1920s she was one of the country's best-known female artists. As her obituary in The Times noted, 'Like most artists who came to maturity and were established before the end of the nineteenth century, Lucy Kemp-Welch suffered somewhat in her later reputation from the violent changes in art which followed. In her prime as an animal painter she held a position in this country comparable to that of Rosa Bonheur in France, and the only British woman artist of her generation who was more talked about was Lady Elizabeth Butler, painter of “The Roll Call.”' Her reputation has since revived, and she is best known today for her large paintings of wild and working horses in the New Forest, and those in military service which she produced during the First World War, as well as for her illustrations to the 1915 edition of Anna Sewell's novel Black Beauty.

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