Racehorse painting finds ‘natural home’

  • A painting of the 1852 Derby winner — who was owned by the 19th century stud owner and breeder, John Bowes — has been bought by the museum which bears his name.

    Bought for £18,000 at Bonham’s auction, the Harry Hall painting of Daniel O’Rourke will be displayed at the John Bowes museum, near Bishop Auckland, alongside the existing collection.

    The diminutive champion, who started at 25-1, was owned by John Bowes and painted after the race with winning jockey Frank Butler onboard.

    Emma House, the museum’s keeper of fine art, said: “Whilst equine portraits regularly come up for sale, many of them were produced quickly after the finish of the race and therefore lack the quality of this painting.

    “Hall has taken great care in the depiction of the horse, portraying in great detail Daniel O’Rourke’s markings and likeness.”

    Director of the Art Fund, who helped purchase the painting, Stephen Deuchar said: “With the connection to John Bowes and his love of all things equestrian, this painting has found its natural home.”

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