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Benjamin Marshall, 1768–1835

George, Marquess of Huntly (later fifth Duke of Gordon), on Tiny

Former Title(s):

George, Marquess of Huntly (later 5th Duke of Gordon), on Tiny

George, 5th Duke of Gordon on `Tiny'

George, 5th Duke of Gordon on 'Tiny' with Hounds and Grooms

between 1806 and 1807
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
40 x 50 inches (101.6 x 127 cm)

Signed, lower right: "B. Marshall Pt."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
animal art | breeches (trousers) | cravat | dogs (animals) | duke | frock coats | genre subject | helmets | horses (animals) | hounds (dogs) | marquess | men | pasture | portrait | redingote (overcoat) | reins | riding boots | saddles | sporting art | top hats | town | town
Associated People:
Gordon, George, fifth duke of Gordon (1770–1836), army office
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Marshall shows the Marquess of Huntly and his horse preparing for the day's hunt. The hounds are poised and ready for the coming chase, their tails wagging and their bodies tense and excited. At the right two grooms lead away the extra horses (provided to relieve animals that became tired or hurt during the hunt). Placed at the top of a pyramidal composition, Huntly sits easily astride, nonchalantly acknowledging us with his glance; his upright posture contrasts sharply with those of the huntsmen at the left who slouch atop their mounts. Similarly, his long-legged, well-proportioned body provides an aristocratic foil to that of his squat valet, who has to reach above his head in order to grasp the bridle of the horse-whose name Tiny ironically refers to his enormous height of seventeen hands. Like his rider, Huntly's majestic mount seems to pose for his audience. His beautifully toned muscles and powerful, healthy veins glisten in the gray light. The scene fairly bursts with energy. Marshall delineates each figure, animal, and even the muddied rocks on the ground, with taut and tensile lines, hinting at the power and energy of the chase to come. The ?at open fields stretching across the middle distance and horizon, possibly the heaths surrounding Newmarket, are peppered with fences and hedgerows to provide swift riders and deft hounds with exciting jumping possibilities. Over these fields Huntly's horses and hounds, carefully and methodically bred for speed and endurance, will fly in pursuit of the quick and wily fox. In its portrayal of Huntly's aristocratic demeanor and the power and beauty of his animals, Marshall's portrait could hardly be more flattering. It was most likely painted in 1806 or 1807, years when Huntly sat as Member of Parliament for Eye (Suffolk). He was a successful soldier and known particularly for his leadership between 1795 and 1799 of the Gordon Highlanders, a regiment that he raised on the estate of his ancestral home in Scotland, Gordon Castle. He succeeded his father as Duke of Gordon in 1827. He and his wife had no children, and with his death in 1836 the dukedom became extinct. Marshall's love of horses extended beyond his paintings of them; under the pseudonym "Observator" he wrote a racing column in the Sporting Magazine, a journal by and for sportsmen. In 1812 he moved from London to Newmarket and there continued to thrive as a painter of horses and their riders. When questioned as to why he would chose Newmarket over the cosmopolitan and bustling London, Marshall is said to have replied, "the second animal in creation is a fine horse; and at Newmarket I can study him in the greatest grandeur, beauty and variety."

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden, paintings from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, p. 124, no. 49, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA)

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Art Gallery of South Australia, 1998-09-16 - 1998-11-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Queensland Art Gallery, 1998-07-15 - 1998-09-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1998-05-01 - 1998-07-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Red Letter Days - British Sporting Art of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Sweetbriar College Art Galleries, 1990-11-09 - 1991-02-10) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Life in England 1750 - 1850 (Paul Mellon Arts Center, 1990-03-27 - 1990-05-21) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Painting in England 1700-1850 - From The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (Yale University Art Gallery, 1965-04-15 - 1965-06-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

British sporting painting, 1650-1850, [catalogue of an exhibition held at the] Hayward Gallery, London 13 December 1974-23 February 1975, Leicestershire Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, 8 March-6 April 1975, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 25 April-25 May, 1975 , Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1974, p. 86, no. 130, ND1388 G7 A78 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Linda Colley, Britons : forging the nation, 1707-1837, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014, p. 175, fig. 32, DA485 .C65 2014 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Robert Colls, This sporting life : sport and liberty in England, 1760-1960, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K., 2020, p. 370, GV706.35 .C65 2020 (LC) YCBA [ORBIS]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 154-155, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Country pursuits: British, American, and French sporting art from the Mellon collections in the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts, , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Charlottesville, 2007, p. 45, fig. 35, ND1383 G7 V57 2007 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867 : A Catalogue : The Paul Mellon Collection, , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 198-99, no. 210, Colour Pl. 26, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

English Animal and Sporting Pictures in the Mellon Collection, Apollo, vol. 77,ns#14, April 1963, p. 286, fig. 8, N1 A54 + (YCBA) Another Copy also available in Vertical File: V1168 [YCBA]

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden : Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, p. 124, no. 49, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Aubrey Noakes, Ben Marshall, 1767-1835, F. Lewis, Publishers, Limited, Leigh-on-Sea, 1978, p. 43, no. 125, NJ18 M3843 A12 N63 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 : collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon : Exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, , 1,2, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 180 (v.1), no. 345, pl. 128, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 83 (v.1), no. 298, pl. 35, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Red letter days : British sporting art of the 18th and 19th centuries : Sweet Briar College, Anne Gary Pannell Center Gallery, November 10, 1990-February 11, 1991.", , Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, Va., 1990, p. 30, N8250 R44 1990 [ORBIS]

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon : [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965, , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, p. 35 (v.1), no. 126, pl. 35, ND466 Y35 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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