Horatio Henry Couldery


English animal painter and illustrator noted especially for his depictions of domestic cats, kittens and dogs. He was born in Lewisham, London, trained at the Royal Academy, and exhibited there as well as at the British Institution, the Royal Society of British Artists gallery in Suffolk Street, and other notable galleries both in the capital and the regions. His work, with its great attention to detail, was highly regarded by art critic John Ruskin.

Horatio Henry Couldery was born in Lewisham, south London and was initially apprenticed to a cabinet maker, before enrolling as a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1857, at the age of twenty five. He was one of the best known Victorian painters of animals and was predominantly known for his highly detailed portrayals of cats, although he was also a fine painter of dog subjects. In common with several of his contemporaries, it is probable that Couldery was influenced by the work of Sir Edwin Landseer, the most famous 19th century painter of dogs and animals who was a personal friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Whilst Couldery's style differed from that of Landseer, his compositions share the anecdotal nature of Landseer's work. Couldery lived in London and exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy between 1861 and 1892. In his Academy Notes of 1875, the art critic Ruskin commented upon Couldery's painting titled 'A Fascinating Tail': "Quite the most skilful piece of minute and Dureresque painting in the exhibition". Exhibited in Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Manchester City Art Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy.