Description: DANIEL BEALE AT HIS FARM IN EDMONTON WITH HIS FAVOURITE HORSE
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63.5 by 76cm., 25 by 30in.
Signed l.l. with monogram
oil on canvas
Commissioned by Daniel Beale, Millfield House, Edmonton, Middlesex;
Anon sale, Christie's, 18th November 1983, lot 12;
Anon sale, Galerie Koller, 8th June 1999, lot 3037
Museum of Art and History, Geneva and Tate Gallery London, Jacques Laurent Agasse, 1988-1989, no. 30
Probably the picture listed in the artist's record book under 18th July 1808
This charming composition dates from the early period of Agasse's English period. The title given above is inscribed on the reverse of the picture and it was suggested in the catalogue to the Agasse exhibition (see below) that the picture is the one described in the artist's record book for 18th July 1808: 'P of a little bay horse background, a farm yard 3/4 size'. Although Daniel Beale 's name does not appear in the record book, but in fact apart from his two great patrons, Rivers and Heathfield, and his close friends, Agasse rarely mentions the names of his patrons.
By the time Agasse came to England in the autumn of 1800 he was a well established painter of animals. From an early age he had drawn them from nature and had good opportunities to study them at his family's country house at Crevin in the Savoy. He had been encouraged to come to England by Lord Rivers, and as he had hoped he soon attracted an impressive group of patrons from the racing world, including Delme-Radcliffe, (the Princes of Wales's racing manager), Lord Lonsdale and Sir Charles Bunbury. However his patrons were from very varied backgrounds and he also became a close friend of Edward Cross, owner of the famous menagerie at Exeter Change in the Strand, and of the Horse dealer, Joseph Hetherington. From 1806 Agasse was based at North Portman Mews off Baker Street, and it was a short journey north to the village of Edmonton in the borough of Enfield where this picture was painted. Daniel Beale is described as of Millfield House, Edmonton and Fitzroy Square, London, though the family originally came from Kent. In 1791 he married Elizabeth daughter of Paul Barbot of London. Agasse kept in touch with many of his Swiss friends and acquantances, and it may be that the Barbot family was amongst these.
The finely observed saddled hunter in the foreground, reminiscent of many of Agasse's drawings of horses, shows the artist's mastery of anatomy, and the atmospheric landscape looks back to his work with his friends in the Geneva School of Painting.