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John E. Ferneley Sr. Wall Art

John E. Ferneley, Sr. (Born 1782) was born in the beautiful village of Thrussington. He was the youngest son of a wheelwright. His artistic talent was noticed first by the Duke of Rutland then by others who observed his artworks. In 1803, the Duke encouraged and sponsored him to become a pupil of Benjamin Marshall, the noted equestrian artist of the time. He spent the next 3 years as an apprentice and during this period he joined the Royal Academy School. In 1806, he got the opportunity to hold an exhibition his first painting at the Royal Academy School. Between 1806 and 1809, Ferneley traveled throughout Ireland and finally returned to England to get himself a wife. From 1810 to 1812 he returned to Ireland two times to paint a large number of sporting paintings which were commissioned by the wealthy Irish landed gentry. The artist had six children with his first wife, 3 of whom became artists. His wife died in 1836.

By 1817, Ferneley was living in Melton Mowbray in the town of Leicestershire, which at the time was the center of burgeoning hunting scenes. It was here that Ferneley met many affluent clients and his work was highly praised and sought after not only by Beau Brummel and Count d’Orsay, but the local Earls and Dukes. Between 1828 and 1834 the artist was commissioned to paint many of the Derby and St. Leger winners. Many of his works were reproduced as engravings and prints. He frequently exhibited at The British Institute, the Royal Academy and Sussex Street. Examples of his work can be found in many important public and private sporting collections, including those at The Tate Gallery, London; The National Museum of Racing, Saratoga; Worthing Art Gallery; Hull Art Gallery; and the Leiscester Art Gallery.

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