The Shropshire-born sculptor and painter Adrian Jones (1845-1938) was one of the most remarkable artists of the heyday of the British Empire. After graduating from veterinary college he served for twenty-four years as an army officer, with postings to a series of crack cavalry regiments and to three wars, including being with the strike force at the storming of Magdala in the Abyssinia War and with the elite Camel Corps in the Relief of General Gordon expedition.
Afterwards, though he had never attended art school, he became a full-time artist. His understanding of animal anatomy and detailed craftsmanship made him the nation’s leading equine artist, frequently commissioned by the Prince of Wales, Lord Wavertree and other owners to paint and sculpt their Derby and Grand National winners. Tens of thousands of spectators attended the dedications of his military memorials. English Heritage marked the Millennium by spending £1.5 million on conserving London’s greatest statue, the Peace Quadriga, which Adrian had undertaken on the prompting of King Edward VII. His life intertwined also with those of great generals and famous artists, so the book contains interesting sidelights on Victorian and Edwardian society.
Adrian Jones was also a founder member of the Shropshire Society, its President for several years and the designer of its Webb Medal.
Robbie Burns, a member of the Shropshire Society, has been interested in the work of Adrian Jones since he became headmaster of Ludlow Grammar School, Adrian’s old school, in 1970. He has had access to the family archives of Adrian’s descendants and to the archives of the Sladmore Gallery, which held the 1984 retrospective exhibition of Adrian’s work in association with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Fund for the restoration of the artistic masterpiece ‘Duncan’s Horses’. Other help has come from private collectors, regiments, military museums, clubs and institutions.
Paperback | 304 pages | 260 x 204 mm | 2010
60 colour and 110 b&w illustrations