Robert Nightingale was born in Eltham, Kent around 1815 to John William Freeman Nightingale, a shoemaker and Sophia Nightingale. He was the father of Basil Nightingale (1864-1940) who also became an animal artist. He was orphaned at the age of 8 and was looked after by his two aunts. He began his early career initially apprenticed to a painter and decorator. However, his artistic talent was soon recognised and in 1837, he began studying art at the Royal Academy. He started exhibiting from 1847 at the Royal Academy and the Suffolk Street Galleries.
Nightingale’s love of horses and hunting brought him into contact with wealthy landowners and he began taking commissions for portraits of their favourite horses and dogs and occasionally their prize cattle. His patrons included the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, the Earl of Rosebery, the Rt. Hon. H. Chaplin and Sir George Chetwynd. He became friends with Sir Edwin Landseer and Thomas Sidney Cooper.
He married Elizabeth Jane Pattison on 2 January 1844 at Maldon and together they had 10 children. The couple lived at London Road in Maldon later moving to the High Street where Elizabeth ran a millinery business. He spent most of his life living and working in Maldon, Essex. He died at his son’s house in London on 27 September 1895.
Examples of his work are held by Colchester Museum, Kelmarsh Hall and the National Trust.
Magnano was a greyhound racing dog owned by Mr C Morgan who lived at Hyde Side House, Edmonton. He began his career around 1872 and won several stakes at Newmarket as well as winning the Waterloo cup in February 1874. The Waterloo cup was a 3 day coursing event run annually at Great Altcar, Lancashire from 1836 to 2005. It was the premier event of the year in dog racing and was known as the 'blue ribbon of the leash'. Magnano raced for about four seasons and sired a number of prize greyhounds.
The painting is housed in a new, English made gilt frame which is in excellent condition.
|Image Size||30 inches x 39 inches (76.5cm x 99cm)|
|Framed Size||36 inches x 45 inches (92cm x 117cm)|