Oil on canvas, 22 x 30 inches / Signed lower left
As a child in Vermont, Essie Seavey loved animals, a passion that never diminished. Artistically inclined, she spent her childhood drawing animals. She received her formal training in Boston and studied under Scott Leighton, the famous horse painter (and former horse-trader). She became well-known for her “portraits” of both standard bred and thoroughbred horses and traveled widely as result of commissions she received throughout the United States. She worked briefly in New York City in 1905, and in 1912 she was in Kentucky where she painted famous trotting mare, Lou Dillon in 1912. Kentucky was, as now, the places where horses are, and in 1916 Seavey moved to Lexington, Kentucky where she opened a gallery/studio. While in Kentucky she met her husband, William Lucas, who was then manager of Hereford Farms, near Versailles, Kentucky. She moved to Montpelier Station, Virginia when William became manager of the Montpelier Farms owned by Mrs. Marion Somerville (nee Dupont). Lucas, also a skilled portraitist, stunningly captured, on canvas, Mrs. Somerville astride her favorite mount, surrounded by her hounds, with her historic home as a backdrop. In addition to Lou Dillon, she painted Man o’ War, considered the greatest thoroughbred ever. At the time of her death, Lucas had more commissions than she had through entire lifetime.