Thomas Blinks was perhaps the foremost Sporting and animal painter of his generation. Born in north west London in 1860, he showed early artistic promise and, following an abortive apprenticeship as a tailor, and in spite of his father’s disapproval, he committed to a career as a painter. He was largely self-taught and gleaned much from time spent at Tattersalls, studying his subject and soon became sought after for his hunting subjects and paintings of dogs, both in Great Britain and particularly the United States. Blinks exhibited in London at the Dudley Gallery from 1881, the Royal Society of Artists the following year, and at the Royal Academy from 1883 to 1910, exhibiting also at the Suffolk Street Galleries. In addition to his hunting scenes, Blinks was renowned for his works depicting Setters and Pointers in particular, as well as shooting subjects, his final RA exhibit of 1910 being titled “The Twelfth”.
In 1885 Blinks had moved from the family home in Lady Margaret Road, north west London to 1 Hill Road in St. John’s Wood, a well-to-do area of London, home to some of the capital’s most successful artists, Tissot and Alma-Tadema lived close by, and an indication of Blink’s patronage and success. Blinks received a number of commissions as a portrait painter from the landed gentry included a commission from the Earl of Lonsdale, whom he portrayed on his hunter ‘Corky’. Blinks died at his home in St. John’s Wood in 1912, having seen his works competed for by some of the wealthiest collectors in Britain and the United States.
His works can be found in museums in: London, The Royal Collection, Leicester Museum and At Gallery, Brighton, Preston Manor.