Kemp-Welch Lucy 1869-1958
Lucy Kemp-Welch (1869-1958) was the foremost painter of horses of her time, especially of working horses and her work constitutes a record of almost vanished breeds. She is best known for her illustrations for Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, but this exhibition is of large canvases with horses of all types, in action and at rest.
The works show wild ponies running spiritedly across Exmoor; well groomed polo ponies galloping after the ball; the last horse-launched lifeboat being pulled into a boiling sea; the great Hanoverian creams of Sanger's Circus parading with majestic gait; huge heavy horses pulling felled timber or a circus caravan on the move; hard working farm horses trudging home at the end of the day, their coats glistening in the low evening sun. Not least there is a row of horses of all sizes, colours and disposition, from thoroughbreds to the lowliest carter's horse, standing tethered to a rope barrier, patiently, restlessly or with aristocratic air.
Lucy Kemp-Welch was the first President of the Society of Animal Painters, a not inconsiderable achievement for a woman at that time. She ran a famed School of Animal Painting and her work was very much admired by Sir Alfred Munnings. Her works are in many public collections in Britain, including Tate Britain and the Imperial War Museum; and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.