Original works of art
| Benjamin Marshall
|(English, 1768 -1834 )
Benjamin Marshall was was one of the most prominent painters of horses and
animals during the last decades of the eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries.
An artist of considerable talent, he was especially adept at depicting the anatomy
and glistening coat texture of thoroughbred horses. Indeed, like other artists
of the day, he in 1812 moved his residence to Newmarket, to be close to the
race track and stables, the source of many of his customers. While we know little
of his early artistic training, there is little doubt that by the 1790's Marshall
was completing competent animal portraits, including a portrait of the Prince
of Wales’ horse in 1792.
Marshall was an active and successful artist, gaining royal patronage and completing
many portraits of horses as well as dogs . He first had his work produced in
the influential Sporting Magazine in 1796 and over the years many of his paintings
were reproduced in the periodical. It was Marshall’s particular ability
to render the anatomy and musculature of horses with such skill that they seemed
to emerge from the canvas. Many of his contemporaries, although competent, painted
horses that were rather stiff and flat, with somewhat awkward compositions.
Marshall’s animals, on the other hand, were well situated in their landscapes,
with backgrounds kept to a minimum. Moreover, Marshall’s palette was composed
predominantly of umbers and browns.