Richard Gilson Reeve after Francis Turner
Heaton Park Races
Most respectfully dedicated to the Gentlemen Subscribers to the Great Cup Race, Heaton Park Meeting 1835
35 x 27
A mint condition aquatint in full original colour, engraved by Reeve after the painting by Francis Turner and published in London in 1835.
The quality of this scarce print is astonishing, and it demonstrates the ability of both artist and engraver to create such a dynamic and multi-layered scene. The sharp clarity of the racegoers in the foreground contrasts with a beautifully soft landscape in the background. In between we are treated to all the energy and excitement of 'The Cup'.
The Heaton Park Races took place in a vast estate outside Manchester. Heaton Hall can be seen dominating the hill above the racecourse, a splendid neo classical mansion remodelled by the architect James Wyatt in the 1770s.
In this scene, 'The Squire' (the intriguingly named George Osbaldestone) wins on Rush, beating Lord Wilton into second place, claiming the £200 bet by Bentinck (who accused Osbaldestone of cheating, leading to a duel with pistols). Spare a thought for Captain Beecher (for whom the Grand National jump 'Becher's Brook' is named) coming in last on such an auspicious occasion.
The race meeting was started by the 2nd Earl Wilton in 1827 and continued until 1839 when it was moved to Aintree near Liverpool, home of the famous Grand National.