The scene is based on a composition by Jan Wyck (Haarlem 1640 – Mortlake 1700), who accompanied his father Thomas Wyck to London and remained there until his death, painting hilly or open landscapes with hunts and riders. As such he may be regarded as the founder of the British sporting school, and was widely imitated by later specialists such as James Seymour. The prototype for our work is illustrated in The Netherlandish Painters of the Seventeenth Century by Dr.Walther Bernt (London 1970), no.1439.
Our painting was attributed to Seymour (1700 – 17520) when with Ackerman in New York and it does indeed exhibit elements of that artist’s style. However this work retains some of the carefully observed naturalism of Jan Wyck’s art, both in the landscape and the staffage. Despite his familiarity with the equine world and close study of their anatomy Seymour’s horses have a mannered and stylised form which never deserts him. It is possible, however, that in the execution of this picture Seymour was closely imitating Wyck, resulting in a more fluid and convincing rendering of figures and horses.