Three Members of Temperance Society

I found this little black and white photograph while rummaging through some old postcards at an estate sale and thought it was adorable.  It reminded me of a set of prints in the collection of one of the museums where I used to work.  And since I’m very into horses (which is unfortunate for my husband), I plan to frame it and feature it prominently with all of our other horsey-related items.


This photograph is attached to a piece of cardstock, and is taken after an engraving of a painting by John Frederick Herring I, titled ‘Three Members of the Temperance Society.’  Painted between 1847 and 1870, the engraving doesn’t quite do the colors and depth of the painting justice, but it does provide art to the masses, which a single painting couldn’t quite do back in the day.

John Frederick Herrig I, ‘Three Members of the Temperance Society: Three Horses at a Drinking Trough,’ 1847-1870. National Trust. Gift from Sir Henry Hugh Arthur Hoare along with the estate, house and its contents, 1946. Image copyright National Trust Images.

NPG 1120; Thomas Landseer by Charles Landseer

Thomas Landseer, by Charles Landseer, chalk, 1825-1850, NPG 1120. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Landseer (1795-1880) was born into an artistic family.  His father, John Landseer, worked as a landscape engraver, and acted as an Associate- Engraver for the Royal Academy, London.  Thomas’ younger brothers were also a part of the Royal Academy- Sir Edwin Landseer, a prominent animal painter, and Charles Landseer, a historical landscape and portrait painter.

(Fun tidbit: You may have seen Edwin Landseer’s work if you’ve been in London, and not even known it: He created and cast the four bronze lions around Trafalgar Square!)

Thomas learned his father’s trade, and focused solely on engraving.  The majority of his early engravings were of his brother’s paintings, a number of which were eventually published together in sporting magazines or other books.  One such example is Engravings of Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Leopards, and Dogs, first published in 1853. This book has been scanned by the University of Toronto and made available online for your viewing pleasure by BioDiversity Heritage Library.

Thomas was inducted into the Royal Academy at the age of 73, and was considered one of the most famous English engravers of the 19th century.

Further Reading:

‘The Lions In Trafalgar Sqaure.’ The Art Journal Volume 6. (1867): page 76. Digital file.

Herrig, John Frederick I. ‘Three members of the Temperance Society’: Three Horses at a Drinking Trough. National Trust. 5 July 2013. Image. 5 July 2013

Landseer, Charles. Thomas Landseer. National Portrait Gallery. 5 July 2013. Image. 5 July 2013

Landseer, Thomas. Engravings of Lions, Tigers, Panthers, Leopards, and Dogs. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853. Digital File.

Silk, James, et. al. ‘Mr. Thomas Landseer, A.R.A.’ The Anatheum Volume 2726 (1880) page 129. Digital File.

Sweetser, Moses Foster. Landseer. Boston: Houghton, Osgood, and Company, 1878. Digital File.


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