About this artwork

This painting was commissioned by foxhunting enthusiast Anthony Keith, 7th Earl of Kintore, and shows the Meet of the Fife Hounds near Falkland - the Lomond Hills can be seen on the left. In the centre is the huntsman ‘Merry’ John Walker on his ‘famous Chestnut horse’. He is surrounded by the hounds Saladin, Bravery, Reveller, Ranter and Minister. The artist, Sir Francis Grant, was a passionate huntsman as a young man. His hunting paintings have been described as “informal, relaxed and intimate, without any particular glamour”.

  • title: A Meet of the Fife Hounds
  • accession number: PG 3657
  • artist: Sir Francis GrantScottish (1803 - 1878)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Animals Sport and leisure
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1833
  • measurements: 91.50 x 122.00 cm (framed: 127.70 x 157.50 x 12.00 cm)
  • credit line: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery 2010.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir Francis Grant

Sir Francis Grant

By the time he was 26 years old, Francis Grant had spent his father’s inheritance of £10,000 on fox hunting and collecting paintings, and was in desperate need of a career. He decided to become an artist, and, despite having no formal training, he made rapid progress by copying old masterpieces lent to him by friends and family. At the time, it was remarkable and somewhat scandalous for a member of a landed family to become a professional portrait painter. His background did, however, give Grant easy access to fashionable Victorian society and portrait commissions. Although still a great lover of hunting, Grant’s success was huge and his output prolific: between 1831 and his death in 1878, approximately 800 paintings are recorded.