Henry Alken (1885-1965) Henry was born in Soho, London in 1785. Alken was the third son of Samuel Alken, a sporting artist. Two of his brothers were artists; George, Samuel Jr., and Sefferien John. Alken married Maria Gordon and fathered five children; two of those children became artists, i.e., Samuel Henry aka Henry Alken junior, and Sefferien junior.
He was also an engraver, caricaturist and illustrator. A fierce huntsman, his oil and watercolor paintings revolved around his two favorite subjects: hunting and coaching scenes. The most honored of the Alken family of painters. He was also a a caricaturist, engraver and illustrator. His creativity reached its peak between 1816 and 1831.
Henry’s father taught his son the valuable skills. Additionally, he gained more experience in the field through miniature painter John Thomas Barber Beaumont (1774-1841). Alken’s work was revealed to world at the Royal Academy; he accomplished this as a young man.
Near the beginning of his career, he painted game subjects under the name of “Ben Tallyho”, but he ultimately used his real name when he devised The Beauties & Defects in the Figure of the Horse. Until around 1831, he created numerous sets of etchings that featured sporting subjects; they were mostly colored and sometimes humorous. His soft-ground etchings were often colored by hand. The British Museum hosts a collection of his illustrations.