Rasen horse artist 'finest of his generation'

BELONGINGS of a Market Rasen area horse painter left to his housekeeper in his will are to be sold at auction on Wednesday, November 1.

Sotheby's has a fine painting by James Lynwood Palmer in its catalogue for today's sale as well as his riding crop, glasses and other personal items left to Mary Cox.

Palmer was born at Market Rasen in 1868, the third son of a parson who became Canon of Rochester Cathedral.

He was educated at King's College, London, but ran away to Canada at the age of 17 to avoid the career in the law or the diplomatic service being mapped out by his father.

He spent 11 years on ranches in Canada and began sketching horses at this time. These came to the attention of General Field of the US Army who helped him develop his hobby into an artistic career.

In 1899 Palmer returned to England where he found patrons including Lady Warwick, the Duke of Portland and even Edward VII.

He eventually settled at The White House in Heston, Middlesex, at the beginning of the century and lived there until his death in 1941.

Palmer was known as a very thorough worker who always began with a series of preliminary sketches. He painted many racehorses and hunters and said the secret of painting horses was alertness to catch the pose. Palmer's picture often have a slightly romantic feel to them. He was considered the finest equestrian artist of his generation.

Palmer was also an accomplished driving man and kept a stable of horses and carriages and could drive a four in hand.

His later life was plagued by ill health partly induced by a bad kick he received close to the heart from a horse he painted. Palmer was remembered as a kind, witty and likeable man of strong character.