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Sawrey Gilpin RA, Horses in a Thunderstorm

Horses in a Thunderstorm, 1798

Sawrey Gilpin RA (1733 - 1807)

RA Collection: Art

On free display in Collection Gallery

Gilpin's Diploma work embodies the spirit of Romanticism. Dramatic tension is created by the play of light and shadow and heightened by a zigzag bolt of lightning. The horses are individualised by their varied physical and emotional responses to the storm. The un-manicured landscape enhances the painting's sense of freedom and wildness, which is integral to the notion of the Romantic sublime. The painting appealed to Eugène Delacroix, who in 1825, made a watercolour copy of the rearing grey horse on the left for the painter and collector Louis-Auguste Schwiter (Budapest).

Gilpin was initially trained by his father who like his brother William was an amateur artist. During his subsequent apprenticeship to the marine painter Samuel Scott, Gilpin began sketching the horses and carts of Covent Garden market near Scott's studio. He progressed to become an accomplished painter of animal and sporting pictures. Like his celebrated contemporary George Stubbs, Gilpin ventured into painting elevated 'historical' animal paintings but found that his patrons preferred his more conventional work. He often collaborated with artists such as Philip Reinagle, George Barret and J.M.W. Turner by adding animals to their paintings.

Object details

Title
Horses in a Thunderstorm
Artist/designer
Sawrey Gilpin RA (1733 - 1807)
Date
1798
Object type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions

846 mm x 1277 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
03/191
Acquisition
Diploma Work given by Sawrey Gilpin RA accepted 1798

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