Huntsman and Hounds

Huntsman and Hounds





English School

Huntsman and Hounds

Oil on canvas

66 x 86.4 cms

26 x 34 inches

One of a family of very accomplished painters, about which comparatively little is known. He was possibly the son of Dalby, the topographical painter of Yorkshire views and gentleman's seats whose work was engraved in Watts' volume in 1780. It is known that in 1815 he was listed in the York directory as an animal painter living outside Micklegate Bar.

By 1826 he was married to Margaret and was living at 11 Mint Yard where his son, David, was born in September of that year. Dalby worked mainly for private patrons, painting racehorses - often in race-course settings - equestrian portraits and hunting scenes and is often called Dalby of York because he signed 'Dalby York'. Although his work is very accurate and highly finished, he has a much softer and more fluid style than John Dalby who painted similar subject matter and this is particularly apparent in the background landscapes.

Some of his paintings are in the style of John Ferneley Snr. by whom he might have been influenced. Even in 1892 some of his pictures sold for considerable sums. In 1820, he painted "The Berkeley Hounds in Kennel", in 1821 "The London and Edinburgh Mail Coach" and in 1824 he produced a set of three paintings depicting "Lord Harewood's Hunt". Racehorse paintings by him include the St Leger winner "St Patrick" and he depicted the father and son, "Blacklock" and "Velocipede", the latter being the victor in the St Leger in 1828.

David Dalby eventually moved from York to Leeds and the reason for this, according to Sir Walter Gilbey in his "Animal Painters of England from 1650-1900", was that he produced a libellous caricature of the Sheriff. He was reputed also to have been a heavy drinker and in later life apparently fell on hard times. However his reputation was such that a group of sportsmen gathered a collection of twenty hunters for him to paint at three guineas each.

Dalby died on 30th August at Clifton and was buried at St Michael le Belfry Church, York, on 2nd September, 1836.

Many of Dalby's paintings are to be found in private houses in Yorkshire and York City Gallery has works by him in its collection.


The Dictionary of Victorian Painters - Christopher Wood

The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists - Sally Mitchell

Yorkshire Artists - Harry Turnbull

Dictionary of British Animal Painters - J C Wood

British Sporting Painters - Walter Shaw Sparrow

British Sporting Painting 1650-1850 - Exhibition Catalogue Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool,Hayward Gallery, London


1794 - 1836


Oil on canvas