Sporting Sketches by Henry Thomas Alken

Collection History

This digital presentation brings together two distinct holdings of work by Henry Alken (1785-1851), the best-known English sporting artist of his day and still one of the most popular. The two holdings are a group of 11 original pencil drawings and watercolor paintings, and Alken's classic portfolio Sporting Sketches of hand-colored lithographs, issued in 6 parts dated Feb. 1, 1817-Feb. 2, 1818. In addition to the 36 projected prints, The Library's copy contains an additional 28 images from other Alken series.


Noted for his graphic precision as a painter and printmaker, Alken was one member of an extended family of sporting artists; his father and his son, both named Samuel, also specialized in sporting subjects. Alken worked for sporting periodicals as an illustrator and provided plates for the volume National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821), where he pictured hunting, coaching, racing and other animal subjects.

Related Resources

American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, inc., New York. Sporting and colored plate books illustrated by Henry Alken, Thomas Rowlandson, Edward Orme and other famous artists, with many superb original drawings, the ... collection of Fitz Eugene Dixon ... to be dispersed at public sale ... January 6 and 7 [1937] ... by his order. (1937) "Sale number 4286."

Noakes, Aubrey. The world of Henry Alken [1952] (Old sporting series)

Schwerdt, C. F. G. R. Hunting, hawking, shooting; illustrated in a catalogue of books, manuscripts, prints and drawings (1928-37) 4 v.

Sparrow, W. Shaw. Henry Alken (1927) (The sport of our fathers. vol. I)

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