Oil on canvas, 22” x 29 3⁄4”
Signed, inscribed “Satirist”
Essex Gallery of Sport, Far Hills, NJ
The Estate of Elizabeth “Binnie” Houghton
Bred by Earl Grosvenor, the Marquis of Westminster, at his Eaton stud in Cheshire, Satirist was a brown colt by Pantaloon out of Sarcasm. Grosvenor purchased Pantaloon for 600 guineas on the advice of then-stud groom John Nutting and was taken to Eaton where he stood with such cracks as Conductor, Filho- da-Puta, and another St. Leger winner, the great Touchstone. Herring would later memorialize Pantaloon in a series of six engravings titled “The British Stud” published by the Fores Galleries (see lot x). In addition to winning the St. Leger, Satirist won the Dee and Palatine Stakes at Chester as well as Her Majesty’s Gold Vase and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot. With jockey William Scott in the saddle, Satirist wore down Coronation, the Epsom Derby winner, to claim the coveted St. Leger in spectacular fashion—winning by half of a head.
John Frederick Herring, Sr. is known to have created one other painting of Satirist in a racing scene, depicting his narrow victory over Coronation in the Great St Leger. The Sporting Review related the following description of Satirist in 1841: “His appearance is not in his favour, he is what is called a ‘mean- looking horse,’ though by no means without many good racing points. To convey the best idea that art can afford of nature, we have placed him before the patrons of this work, ‘in his habit as he lives.’ It is the first time any such attempt has been made in any sporting periodical; we trust it will be received as earnest of our resolution to spare neither exertion nor outlay in supporting the character with which public opinion has honoured the Sporting Review.”
The editor of the Sporting Review would go on to publish a large number of engravings after Herring’s paintings, making the artist one of the best-known painters of his day as well as making the Sporting Review a must-have periodical for anyone that considered themselves serious about sport.