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Frederick Albert Clark
Sporting horse portrait oil painting of a race horse in a stable

1907

About the Item

Frederick Albert Clark British, (1869-1954) Billy Boy Oil on canvas, signed & dated 1907 Image size: 16.5 inches x 20.5 inches Size including frame: 25.25 inches x 29.25 inches A fine horse portrait painting of a prize winning brown race horse called Billy Boy by Frederick Albert Clark. Billy boy was a dark brown colt foaled in 1905 and sired by Bill of Portland out of Our Grace. The horse was initially owned by Mr Jack B Joel and trained by Sam Loates. He was later owned by Mr S Gosbee whose initials can be seen on the horse blanket. Billy Boy won a number of races including first prize at the Imber Court Evening Handicap race on 5 August, 1907 and The Ladies Handicap on 2 September, 1907. Like many other sporting horse owners of the period, Gosbee would have commissioned Clark to paint Billy Boy’s portrait to commemorate the horse and his wins. Frederick Albert Clark was born on 29 March, 1869 in Islington, part of the Clark family of artists. His parents were the artist Albert Clark (1843-1928) and his first wife Ellen Parsons. His grandfather was the animal painter James Lawrence Clark (1812-1909) and his half-brother William Albert Clark (1880-1963) also went on to become an artist. He was actually christened Albert but later added the name of Frederick when signing his paintings to avoid confusion with his father. His mother died when he was only 3 and his father remarried in 1875 to Harriet Ireland. By 1881, the family had moved to 81 Riverdale Road in Islington, the same road as his grandfather. Although little has been discovered about his early education, it is clear from his style and subject matter that he had lessons from his father and possibly his grandfather as he lived nearby. By the time of his marriage to Helena Louisa Webb on 26 June, 1890 at Islington, he had become a full time artist. Together, the couple spent the first years of married life living at 94 Finsbury Park Road in Hornsey and went on to have 6 children. Around the turn of the century, they moved to nearby 26 Avenell Road to accommodate their growing family. Like his father, Clark specialised in sporting paintings of horses. Although he did not exhibit, he earned his living painting commissions for the landed gentry who wanted portraits to commemorate their prize winning horses. His patrons included Baroness Burdett Coutts, Lord Abercromby, the Duke of Northumberland and Professor J Wortley Axe. Many of the horse portraits he painted were of trotting horses and he was known to have painted over 100 of the handicap winners. Clark moved to 49 Umfreville Road, Finsbury Park around 1905 from where he worked and also set up a framing business possibly with one of his wife's relatives, called Webb, Clark & Co. He lived at Umfreville Road with his wife until she died in 1915. After her death, he moved to 29 Queens Drive, Stoke Newington and in 1924 married Eliza Osborne Johns. His second wife died in 1949 and he spent his final years living in Coaxden Park Road, Uxbridge. He died at Hillingdon Hospital on 29 July, 1954. Presentation: The work is housed in its original gilt frame which is in excellent condition. Condition: As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished. © Benton Fine Art
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