By SAMUEL E. WALLER (1850-1903)

When this picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1882, the following explanatory note was published in the Catalogue:

"On the first rumour of impending difficulties between Scotch and English, the moss-troopers would sweep swiftly over the country, taking every head of cattle within reach--frequently plundering both sides with equal impartiality-and returning to the security of their castles to be welcomed home by their wives and sweethearts, who were nearly as enthusiastic in the matter as themselves."-Border History

The artist was originally intended for the Army, and with that career in view was educated at Cheltenham College; but he displayed so strong an inclination for drawing that he joined the Gloucester School of Art, and at the age of eighteen entered the Academy Schools. His father was an architect, and young Waller went through a course of instruction in the parental office, while in his leisure he studied animals on the farm which his father kept.

All these early influences had their effect upon his work throughout his life, and are traceable in this picture, notably in the military subjects, in the animal studies, and in the architecture. He was devoted to horses especially, and would recount many experiences of his encounters with jockeys, or of his tramps for miles in search of equine models. Horses figure in nearly all his paintings, and they are drawn with loving care and unerring skill. Mr. Waller's method was first to draw the animal at a distance so that he could visualise it in its entirety, and then paint it at close quarters in order to copy faithfully such details as the veins and muscles, or the texture of the animal's coat.

From the book "Famous Paintings" Volume 2 printed in 1913.

Large files of this public domain print are available at Stock Photos at Songs of Praise
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Online "Name the Painting"

" Sweethearts and Wives"
by S.E. Waller, Tate Collection

"The Empty Saddle"
by S.E. Waller

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Famous Paintings Volume 1
Art Gallery

Famous Paintings Volume 2
Art Gallery

Art Appreciation