James Seymour was the son of James Seymour senior (1658-1739) an amateur artist and supplier of plate for racing trophies, suggesting a family involvement with horses. There is little known about Seymour junior’s life, but it is thought that he owned his own racehorses. Sally Mitchell describes his work as ‘very precise and quite beautiful…He takes the utmost care with everything he paints (S. Mitchell, The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists, Suffolk, 1985, p. 386).
The present lot is said to depict Mr Martindale’s chestnut colt Sedbury, dressed in an elaborate blue rug and led by a groom. Sedbury was got by Mr Crofts's Partner, out of the famous Old Montague Mare. Martindale purchased the horse in 1740, the same year as this painting and also the year Sedbury won the Kings Plate at Guildford, Salisbury, Canterbury and Newmarket.
Seymour is known to have painted Sedbury several times and there are various engravings published by the likes of James Roberts, Thomas Butler, Thomas Spencer and T. Bradford among others as one of several popular series of racehorses in the 1740s-1750s.