Samuel Henry Alken

(1810 - 1894)

The Essex Hunt, with St. Andrew’s Church, Ashingdon in the distance

Signed and dated, lower left: H.Alken/1873
Oil on canvas
30 x 43¾ in – 76 x 111 cm
Frame size
35⅜ x 48¾ in – 89.8 x 123.8 cm

Height 11³/₈ in (89.8 cm)
width 0³/₄ in (123.8 cm)

Tel.: +44 (0)20 7839 7693


Thos. Agnews, London;
Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh;
Viscount Elveden


The son of Henry Thomas Alken Snr (1785-1851) and Maria Gordon, Henry Gordon Samuel Alken was referred to as Samuel Henry Alken to distinguish himself from his father, a painter of equestrian and sporting paintings with whom he studied.

The grandson of Samuel Alken (1756-1815) his namesake was to become a highly accomplished painter in the family tradition of sporting subjects. He was born in Ipswich but with his family returned to London studying with his father as an etcher and painter in watercolours and oils.

In 1851 he was living in the Strand in London and the following year worked, with George Sala, on producing an immense aquatint portraying the funeral procession of the Duke of Wellington on twenty-eight sheets measuring 13.5 x 2072 cm published in 1853. In 1861 Alken lived in Covent Garden, an area home to a number of artists and artists colourmen, with Jane from Romford, although unmarried. By 1871 Alken was living alone in Hammersmith moving to Shadwell in Essex in 1881.

Alken painted hunting scenes, racing subjects including the Derby on a number of occasions, equestrian portraits and coaching scenes, he was a highly successful artist with patrons across the country.

His works can be seen in a number of museums and public collections throughout the UK.

Alken Samuel Henry