Henry Thomas Alken, (1785 - 1851)
Henry Thomas Alken (12 October 1785 – 7 April 1851) was an English painter and engraver chiefly known as a caricaturist and illustrator of sporting subjects and coaching scenes. His most prolific period of painting and drawing occurred between 1816 and 1831.
Young Henry first studied under his father and then with the miniature painter John Thomas Barber Beaumont (1774–1841), also known as J. T. Barber.
Alken worked in both oil and watercolor and was a skilled etcher. His earliest productions were published anonymously under the signature of "Ben Tallyho", but in 1816 he issued The Beauties & Defects in the Figure of the Horse comparatively delineated under his own name. From this date until about 1831, he produced many sets of etchings of sporting subjects mostly coloured and sometimes humorous in character.
Alken provided the plates picturing hunting, coaching, racing and steeplechasing for The National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821). Alken, known as an avid sportsman,is best remembered for his hunting prints, many of which he engraved himself until the late 1830s. In many of his etchings, Alken explored the comic side of riding and satirized the foibles of aristocrats, much in the tradition of other early 19th century caricaturists such as Thomas Rowlandson and James Gillray. One of his best known paintings, "The Belvoir Hunt: Jumping Into And Out Of A Lane", hangs in the Tate Britain and shows one of the oldest of the great foxhound packs in Leicestershire. A collection of his illustrations can be seen in the print department of the British Museum.