'To Lead in the Winner while the Bookmakers Cheered'

'To Lead in the Winner while the Bookmakers Cheered'



The present work was used as an illustration of the 1922 publication of John Masefield’s poem Right Royal. The long narrative poem tells the story of the jockey Charles Cothill who enters the outsider Right Royal for the English Chasers’ Cup, a formidable Steeplechase over four and half miles. Cothill and Right Royal are the eventual winners against the odds. One of our most popular and familiar animal artists, Cecil Aldin was born in Slough, the son of Charles Aldin, a Kensington builder and amateur artist. He was educated at Eastbourne College and later at Solihull Grammar School. On leaving school he became a pupil of Albert Moore in Kensington before going to the South Kensington Art School to study anatomy and animal painting under Frank Calderon. By the early 1890s he began to provide illustrations for various publications and set up his studio in Chelsea. His first major commission was for Kipling’s Jungle Stories, published in serial form by the Pall Mall Budget. A prolific illustrator and print maker, he became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1898. A keen huntsman, he produced many popular sets of hunting prints and became hunting correspondence for the magazine Land and Water. Working mainly in pastel or watercolour he excelled at studies of his favourite dogs and horses, often revealing his sense of humour. In 1904 he moved to Henley on Thames and eventually became Master of the South Berks Foxhounds. During the war, he ran a remount Depot, being the official Remount Officer for Berkshire. One of the men who worked under him at the Depot was Alfred Munnings. After developing arthritis he decided to move to a warmer climate and he and his wife moved to Majorca in 1930. He died of a heart attack on board ship on his return voyage in 1934. A memorial exhibition was held at the Fine Art Society in 1935. This work is accompanied by a 1922 edition of John Masefield’s Right Royal which includes Aldin’s illustrations.


Height 139.7 cm / 55 "
Width 213.36 cm / 84 "
Framed height 167.64 cm / 66 "
Framed width 241.3 cm / 95 "