SARTORIUS, John Nost
(b. 1759, London, d. 1828, London)

Biography

English painter, part of a family of painters. The son of Francis Sartorius I, and grandson of John Sartorius I (c. 1700-c. 1780), he referred himself in the Royal Academy catalogues as "J.N. Sartorius junior", to distinguish himself from his father and grandfather. He was the parent of Francis Sartorius II (c. 1777-after 1808) and John Francis Sartorius (c. 1775-c. 1830).

Like his father (and, to a degree, his own son John Francis Sartorius) he was itinerant, and his paintings are to be find in very many country houses the length and breadth of England. He painted many sporting scenes for clients whom he met at the Newmarket races, and his clientele numbered many of the most famous aristocratic sportsmen of his age: Lords Derby, Foley, Kingston, the breeders and trainers Christopher Wilson and Sir Charles Bunbury, and grandest of all, The Prince of Wales. His paintings are as popular today as they were in his own lifetime.

John Nost was probably the most prolific of the Sartorius family, as more of his works seem to have survived. His exhibited works were primarily portraits of horses but also included racing and hunting scenes. Despite the exclusively rural content of his paintings, Sartorius lived for the greater part of his life in Soho, London. He left us with a evocative record of the sporting life of the late Georgian era.

John Nost, although more advanced in style than his father and grandfather, was still rather old-fashioned in technique. He work is frequently naive, although there is a certain characteristic free roundness to his horses which are better painted than his human figures. His composition is usually quite pleasing and his hunting scenes are full of interest. It is easy to be over-critical of his work as so much of it has been defaced by bad restoration.



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