SARTORIUS, Francis I
(b. 1734, London, d. 1804, London)
English painter, part of a family of painters, son of John Sartorius I (c. 1700-c. 1780), said to be a sporting painter and a descendant of the artistic Sartorius family of Nuremberg. No documentary evidence survives to confirm or deny this. He was the father of John Nost Sartorius.
Francis Sartorius was based for the whole of his life in London, where he maintained studios and lodgings at various addresses in Soho. However, his paintings are far from urban: his entire output is devoted to recording sporting and equestrian themes in all their diversity.
Inevitably, given that his patrons were mainly Country Gentleman, he was itinerant, and seems to have painted in many of the counties of England, as well as being one of the first purely sporting painters to work in Ireland. He exhibited frequently at the main London venues, such as the Free Society of Artists and the Royal Academy.
He was extremely prolific and has left us with an invaluable record of all the country sports during their Golden Age. His style is old-fashioned, and slightly wooden, but his works have about them a timeless and evocative air of charm.