Wootton, John (DNB00)

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WOOTTON, JOHN (1678?–1765), animal and landscape painter, was born about 1678. He studied under John Wyck [q. v.], and first became known at Newmarket, where he painted the portraits of all the favourite racehorses of his time. He was equally successful as a painter of dogs, also of hunting and battle pieces and equestrian portraits. During the latter part of his career he painted many landscapes in the style of Claude and Gaspar Poussin. Wootton was one of the most esteemed artists of the period, and his works, which are usually on a large scale, are to be met with in many of the great county houses. Some admirable hunting pieces by him are preserved at Althorp and Longleat. In the royal collection are his ‘Stag Hunt in Windsor Park,’ ‘Siege of Tournay,’ ‘Siege of Lille,’ and portrait of the Duke of Cumberland, with the battle of Dettingen in the background. His portrait of Flying Childers, the fleetest horse that ever ran, is the property of Messrs. Tattersall. Five of his pictures which belonged to Sir Robert Walpole were engraved for Boydell's ‘Houghton Gallery.’ In 1726 Wootton published, by subscription, a set of four plates of his hunting subjects, engraved by B. Baron, and another set of seven, engraved by P. C. Canot, appeared in 1770. His portrait of the Duke of Cumberland, with the battle of Culloden in the background, was engraved by Baron, and that of Tregonwell Frampton, the ‘father of the turf,’ by J. Faber. Wootton made the designs for the majority of the plates in the first volume of the first edition of Gay's ‘Fables,’ 1727. His collections were sold in 1761, and he died at his house in Cavendish Square, London, in January 1765.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Dallaway and Wornum; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers, ed. Armstrong; Vertue's collections in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 23076, ff. 21, 23; Cat. of Sports and Arts Exhibition, 1891.]

F. M. O'D.