Six of the Duke of Newcastle’s Manège Horses
This painting appears to be Netherlandish of around 1650 – 70 to judge by the costumes of the grooms and the style. Some of the horses have been identified as Machomilia, un Turke, ‘Rubecan, un Roussin’, Paragon, un Barbe and ‘Le Superbe, cheval de Spanie’. William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1592 - 1676) published a book on the management of horses called 'La Méthode Nouvelle et Invention Extraordinaire de Dresser les Chevaux' which was first published in Antwerp in 1658 with a different book of the same title appearing in English in 1677. The volume contains forty plates by various engravers after drawings by Abraham van Diepenbeck (1596-1675), a Flemish artist and associate of Rubens, who is said to have worked for Cavendish in England during the reign of Charles I. There is a comparable group of paintings at the Duke's old seat at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire deriving from the same publication. One of which is signed A. Sijmons f. but who is probably not the same as the English wax modeller and medallist, Abraham Symons or Symonds (1617–1692).
Oil painting on canvas, Six of the Duke of Newcastle’s Manège Horses, Anglo-Flemish School, circa 1665 to 1675. Previously catalogued as 'probably A. Sijmons (fl.1670)' on the basis of a signed painting at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire. Before a river, six horses are paraded by their grooms. They are disposed in a pattern of two lines – each of three horses, all facing left. The costumes of the grooms appear to date from the late 1650s to the 1670s. Top left, a dark bay horse, led by a groom facing the horse, wearing a gold silk tunic tied at the waist with a striped silk sash. Top centre, a red and white varnish roan horse with frizzled white mane and tail, led by a groom facing right, wearing a green smock-like tunic with white cravat tied with black ribbon. Top right, a chestnut horse with white markings, led by a groom facing the horse, wearing a grey tunic and white cravat. Bottom left, a grey horse with long frizzled mane and tail, led by a groom facing the horse, wearing a pink silk tunic. Bottom centre, a bay horse with two white fetlocks, led by a groom facing the horse, wearing a grey jacket, white shirt, grey breeches, and red sock garters. Bottom right, a red and white overo horse with brown frizzled tail, led by a groom facing left, wearing a green silk tunic.
Spink & Sons, London, as by Diepenbeck, (according to an undated illustration in the Witt Library), from whom doubtless acquired by Captain (d.1943) or Mrs Bambridge, at a date unknown; bequeathed to the National Trust together with Wimpole Hall, all its contents and an estate of 3,000 acres by Elsie Kipling, Mrs Bambridge (1896–1976)
Wimpole Hall, The Bambridge Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
Anglo-Flemish School, artist probably A. Sijmons (fl.1670), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Abraham Jansz. van Diepenbeeck ('s Hertogenbosch 1596 - Antwerp 1675) , artist
Hussey 1967 Christopher Hussey, 'Wimpole Hall - The Home of Mrs Bambridge - I, II,& III,', Country Life, CXLII, no. 3691, 30 November, no. 3692, 7 December & no. 3693, 14 December 1967, pp. 1400-4, 1466-71, & 1594-7 Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire 2004 [The National Trust; David Souden] 1991 revised 2004, p.67