The Noon Day Rest

THOMAS BLINKS (1860-1912)


Height - 12.00inch (30.48cm)
Width - 18.00inch (45.72cm)


The Noon Day Rest







Signed & dated ‘87
Oil on canvas 12 x 18 inches
Framed size

Thomas Blinks was born in Maidstone, Kent on the 29 October 1860 and was the son of Richard and Ellen Blinks nee Poile. The family moved to Ticehurst and Thomas went to school there.
At the age of 9 or 10 he was whipper- in to a neighbouring farmer. At this time he was already enthusiastically sketching and wanted to study art but his father disagreed and apprenticed him to a tailor. Thomas was so unhappy he ran away to his uncle; after a family discussion he was then allowed to follow art as a career. It is not known if Thomas had any formal training but he said he learned anatomy and action by watching the horses at Tattersall’s.
Thomas became a sporting and animal painter and his work was first seen in London at the Dudley Gallery in 1881. He went on to exhibit his paintings frequently at the Royal Academy from 1883 and at the Society of British Artists. His R.A works were sent in from London addresses, 8 Lady Margaret’s Road N.W and 1 Hill Road, Abbey Road.
One well- known painting by him is “The Ferry” showing huntsmen and hounds on a ferry. He is known to have painted more than one version of successful pictures and his picture titled ‘Here they come’
is repeated in five versions.
Blinks was one, if not the only artist to paint several pictures of the Oakley that were reproduced as prints and was also one of a number of artists to depict King George V out hunting.
He worked both in oil and watercolour and his smaller later works are frequently signed with a monogram, though his larger works are normally signed in full.
Thomas painted very few equestrian portraits but is known to have collaborated once with Fred Row who was a good friend, along with Sir William Russell Flint.
Thomas was described as, ‘thickset, rubicund, trimly bearded and could ‘turn a verbal thrust with jovial ease’. He spent his early days in the Kentish Town area but later moved to 1 Hill Road, St. Johns Wood where he spent the rest of his life; dying there on 29 December 1912.
He was buried at Hendon Park Cemetery on New Year’s Eve, leaving a widow, a son and daughter.
The horses in Blinks’ paintings show very good action and he was fond of portraying big long limed ‘blood’ horses. He loved horses and hounds and showed a strong understanding of both in his work. He also painted polo scenes and some very fine portraits of gundogs on the Moors.
He combined considerable freedom of brush work with a polished finish. His canvas sizes vary in size from 6 x 9 to 35 x 50 inches.
Eighty of his works were reproduced in some sort of print form and some of his work was engraved by J.B. Pratt.

Bibl: Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists- Sally Mitchell
Victorian Painters- Christopher Wood; Paradise Lost- Christopher Wood

Works Represented: Preston Manor, Brighton; Leicester Museum & Art Gallery; Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery; Watford Museum; Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, Maidstone.


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