2020 Fine Sporting Art, American Paintings, and Sculpture

11| Thomas Weaver (British, 1775-1844)

A Bull And Figures Outside A Barn In A Wooded Landscape

Signed and dated 1803

Oil on canvas, 28" x 36"

$9000. - $12000.

Provenance: Frost & Reed

Signed and dated 1803

After succeeding his father in the Ketton tenancy in 1782, Charles Colling began a program to improve the quality of cattle in the Tees River Valley. His brother, Robert, the tenant of another farm in the district, soon aided him in this endeavor. Together the brothers would become the first scientific breeders of shorthorn, or Durham, beef cattle. After paying extensive visits to Robert Bakewell of Leicestershire in 1783, the brothers began pairing his breed ideals with their own. Along with selecting the best available local stock, their approach soon propelled the shorthorn to the position of Britain?s premier cattle breed. This systematic breeding program, first of its kind, produced Comet, the most expensive bull of the age. A commission to paint the Colling Brothers? white shorthorn heifer brought Thomas Weaver to County Durham. From there the artist was able to build a lucrative relationship with the brothers, receiving additional commissions to paint their prized livestock. This Durham ox, likely bred by Charles Colling, is a fine example of the breeding standard set by the brothers.

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