Franklin Brooke Voss combined his family background in equestrian sports and art, becoming a prolific painter of horses and sporting subjects. Born in New York City, he grew up riding and foxhunting, and participated in both flat and steeplechase races as a young man. He also studied art at the Art Student’s League in New York. There he received a thorough grounding in anatomy, an interest that is evident in the naturalistic portrayal of both horses and humans. He vastly preferred on painting from life rather than from photographs. Socially well-connected, he completed more than 500 commissions of race horses, hunting horses and equestrian scenes in the period between 1920 and 1950, including portraits of famed racehorses Man O’ War and Citation and numerous paintings for members of the Whitney and Vanderbilt families. His work is in the collection of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York and he was the subject of an exhibition and catalog at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in Leesburg, Virginia, in 1999.
At the Sign of the Gosden Head was a print publishing company that produced popular sporting prints including equestrian, hunting, and marine subjects. They initially planned a set of 12 prints of famous thoroughbred horses by Voss that included this one. 10 were published in 1934, the 11th in 1936 and The Sporting Gallery and Bookshop Inc., New York published the 12th, of the renowned racehorse Seabiscuit, in 1940.
Full publication information: “Publish’d & Copyright’d At the Sign of the Gosden Head, New York, 1934. After the painting of Top Flight as a two year old in the Coll’n of C.V. Whitney, Esq’re.”
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall minor toning and wear. Pinhole and mark from thumbtack upper right margin, can be matted out.
Rives, Barclay, et al. “Franklin B. Voss.” Morven Park. 7 April 2000. http://www.morvenpark.org/voss.htm (31 October 2003).