Two horses in a thunderstorm: British horse painter Thomas Woodward (1801-1852)

Thomas Woodward, Horses in a thunderstorm, approx 1823

(attributed to) Thomas Woodward (1801-1852),Two horses in a thunderstorm, ca. 1823, oil on panel, unsigned, 23x30cm, photo: Bob Scholte Fine Art.

Thonas Woodward, Horses in a thunderstorm, Yale Center for British Art

Thomas Woodward (1801-1852),Horses in a thunderstorm, 1823, oil on panel, unsigned, 30.5x35.6cm, photo: Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut.

Thomas Woodward (1801-1852) was a British painter of historical genre scenes and portraits in which horses often played the leading role. Loved by the English nobility, he soon made himself known in higher circles, which allowed him to make horse portraits of the British Royal family, including the horses of Queen Victoria. During his lifetime, his works were widely exhibited at the Royal Academy and British Institution. His works are represented in Tate Britain and the Worcester City Museum, among others.

Entirely in the spirit of Romanticism, the two horses (left painting) are placed dramatically and lonely on a hill with a threatening gray cloud formation with approaching lightning behind them. The horses react differently to the ominous weather. The brown horse falls to the ground, while the gray horse rears.

 

The painting in the collection of Bob Scholte Fine Art (left) by Thomas Woodward has an artistic connection to the painting Horses in a Thunderstorm (right) in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven Connecticut, donated in the 1960s by American philanthropist and art collector Paul Mellon (1907-1999). The dark skies on the two works are very thin, but accurately applied. Striking are the lightning bolts that are painted so subtly at the top left that you could almost overlook them. The horses have the same flecks of light on their eyeballs, the grass on the hill is equally finely applied and the support in both cases is a thin wooden panel. The two paintings therefore show not only compositional similarities, the similarities are also striking in style and painting technique.

Thomas Woodward's painting is for sale. Price on request.