George Soper was an artist of no formal training who lived from 1870 to 1942. His artwork captures the heart and soul of an era that only exists today (and miraculously at that) in the scattered Amish communities and a few other nooks and crannies of what has become an otherwise machine dominated world. He rendered a mostly bygone era then, and did it like no other. It is no accident that he dearly loved the working horse, as this animal was the heartbeat of his day, as it was of most of the days of civilized man.
Soper was something of a wildlife conservationist, and when he died, his home on four English acres reserved for wildlife habitat was kept on by his spinster daughters, Eileen and Eva, who also kept up his conservation work. When the sisters eventually became old and ill and entered a nursing home, a family friend, Robert Gillmor, was invited to sort out their father's artwork, most of which had never seen the light of day. Gillmor had no idea he was about to unearth the largest selection of drawings and paintings of horses at work, ever.
"Winter Sun" c1938
What makes Soper's depictions of working horses and their people so arresting is the fact that these are no works of the imagination - Soper was there on the scene, tools at hand, recording what he witnessed for posterity. I for one am very thankful this gifted man took the time to do so, as much so as I am his incredible artwork came to see the light of day, for all to enjoy.
"George Soper's Horses" is now available from our General Store (click link tab at top of page.) We heartily recommend it.
Chris Beetles Ltd. of London, England took over the Soper Estate on behalf of the Artists General Benevolent Institution (AGBI) in 1995. Visit the gallery online at WWW.CHRISBEETLES.COM.
Have a look at our "Education/Contact" page for info on the author.