A Meet in the West of England
A Meet in the West of England
A Meet in the West of England

JAMES ROSS (c.1700-c.1750)

A Meet in the West of England

c. 1730 England

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James Ross, Snr (English, c.1700-1750)
A Meet in the West of England
Circa 1730
Oil on canvas, signed ‘J. Ross’ lower left
Framed in a Lely-pattern gilt carved frame with entwined cinquefoil decoration, c. 1700
Dimensions: 125 x 102 cm. / 49 ¼ x 40 ins, incl. frame: 139.5 x 120 cm. / 55 x 47 ins

James Ross was one of a small group of pioneering English artists who specialised in sporting paintings, along with John Wootton (c.1682-1765), Peter Tillemans (1684-1734) and James Seymour (c.1702-1752). This signed painting by Ross shows a mixed local hunting party and their dogs meeting beside a manor house, with the ruins of an ancient castle beside it. In the background is a large, broad and green river valley with high hills in the distance; a typical English landscape, yet painted in a classical Italianate manner.

According to Sally Mitchell, James Ross and his family probably came from the Gloucestershire or Worcestershire area of England. Indeed, the present painting’s panorama of a large river, wide valley and high rolling hills in the distance does resemble Ross's local Severn and Wye Valleys. Ross did paint known views of this area, for example in his set of four pictures of The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, each signed and variously dated 1729-33 (Christie's, London, 15th November 1996, lot 47). Large signed paintings by Ross, such as the present example, rarely come to market and as such are sought-after examples of early English sporting art.
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