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James Seymour, 1702–1752

The Duke of Devonshire's Flying Childers

Former Title(s):

Flying Childers with a Groom

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
40 x 50 inches (101.6 x 127 cm)

Signed and dated, lower right: "[monogram] | 1742"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
animals | costume | duke | equestrian | horse (animal) | portrait | reins | rural | sporting art
Associated Places:
Devonshire | England | Europe | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Foaled in 1715, the great Flying Childers was bred by Colonel Leonard Childers at Doncaster and bought from him by the Duke of Devonshire as a yearling. He never lost a race, and is now recognized as the first supreme thoroughbred racehorse. The demand for portraits of him continued long after his career was over and Seymour painted a number of variations on the present work, most of them dated in the 1740s. The groom steadying him with the reins wears the Duke of Devonshire's livery of blue and buff.

Malcolm Warner

Warner, Malcolm and John Baskett. The Paul Mellon Bequest: Treasures of a Lifetime. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2001, p. 77

All The Queen's Horses (National Horse Racing Museum, 2003-04-26 - 2003-08-23) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Paul Mellon Bequest : Treasures of a Lifetime (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-02-17 - 2001-04-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

The Pursuit of Happiness - A View of Life in Georgian England (Yale Center for British Art, 1977-04-19 - 1977-09-18) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd., An exhibition of XVIIIth and XIXth century oil paintings of celebrated racehorses : 9th May to 1st June, 1962, presented by the British Racehorse at the galleries of Arthur Ackermann & Son, Ltd. , London, 1962, p. 8, no. 2, pl. 2, DealerCat Arthur Ackermann (YCBA) [YCBA]

Arthur Ackermann & Son Ltd., Annual Exhibition of Sporting Paintings : 20th October - 20th November 1965, Illustrated catalogues price five shillings in aid of the horses and ponies protection association , 1965, lot 1, DealerCat Arthur Ackermann [ORBIS]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867 : A Catalogue : The Paul Mellon Collection, , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 45-46, no. 49, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Kentucky Horse Park, All the queen's horses, the role of the horse in British history , Lexington, KY, 2003, p. 155, no. 37.5, SF284 G7A55 2003 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

J. H. Plumb, The pursuit of happiness : a view of life in Georgian England : an exhibition selected from the Paul Mellon collection, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1977, pp. 62, 128, no. 146, N6766 Y34 1977 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Duncan Robinson, At home to sporting art : the Brick House, Essays of Friends of British Sporting Art, no. 33, The British Sporting Art Trust, Summer 1997, p. 4, N8250 .B751 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 77, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Richard Wills, James Seymour, 1701-1752, London, 2023, p.126, NJ18 .Se95 W55 2023 (YCBA) Oversize [YCBA]

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