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Oil painting - A Riding Lesson
  • A Riding Lesson
    Ferg, Franz de Paula, born 1689 - died 1740
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A Riding Lesson

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Date:

    early 18th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ferg, Franz de Paula, born 1689 - died 1740 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on copper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Franz de Paula Ferg (1689-1740) was trained as a landscape painter by his father, Adam Pankraz Ferg (1651-1729) and Josef Orient (1677-1747). He also studied staffage painting with Johann (Hans) Graf (1653-1710). In 1718 he left Vienna to Franconia, Bamberg and Leipzig and later travelled to Lower Saxony. In 1724, he settled in London where he died in misery.

This painting and its pendant (574-1882) were long attributed to the Dutch painter Carel van Falens but are now generally reattributed to Franz de Paula Ferg as originally stated. This painting is a typical example of his production that combines influences of the Dutch, Flemish and Italian schools and are depicted in a relatively dark palette.

Physical description

In a courtyard, two elegant gentlemen astride on a respectively white and brown horse, holding a stick in their hands, some standing figures are looking at them; a house including stable is on the left hand-side, a groom holding a horse is standing in front of it.


early 18th century (painted)


Ferg, Franz de Paula, born 1689 - died 1740 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on copper

Marks and inscriptions

Signed lower left (monogram)


Height: 33.3 cm estimate, Width: 40.7 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by John Jones, 1882
Ref : Parkinson, Ronald, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860. Victoria & Albert Museum, HMSO, London, 1990. p.xix-xx

John Jones (1800-1882) was first in business as a tailor and army clothier in London 1825, and opened a branch in Dublin 1840. Often visited Ireland, travelled to Europe and particularly France. He retired in 1850, but retained an interest in his firm. Lived quietly at 95 Piccadilly from 1865 to his death in January 1882. After the Marquess of Hertford and his son Sir Richard Wallace, Jones was the principal collector in Britain of French 18th century fine and decorative arts. Jones bequeathed an important collection of French 18th century furniture and porcelain to the V&A, and among the British watercolours and oil paintings he bequeathed to the V&A are subjects which reflect his interest in France.

See also South Kensington Museum Art Handbooks. The Jones Collection. With Portrait and Woodcuts. Published for the Committee of Council on Education by Chapman and Hall, Limited, 11, Henrietta Street. 1884.
Chapter I. Mr. John Jones. pp.1-7.
Chapter II. No.95, Piccadilly. pp.8-44. This gives a room-by-room guide to the contents of John Jones' house at No.95, Piccadilly.
Chapter VI. ..... Pictures,... and other things, p.138, "The pictures which are included in the Jones bequest are, with scarcely a single exception, valuable and good; and many of them excellent works of the artists. Mr. Jones was well pleased if he could collect enough pictures to ornament the walls of his rooms, and which would do no discredit to the extraordinary furniture and other things with which his house was filled."

Historical significance: Originally catalogued as by Franz de Paula Ferg, this painting and its pendant (574-1882) were reattributed by Basil Long in 1930 to Carel van Falens. Although similar to a number of works by Carel van Falens, the present painting is closer to some of a similar subject by Ferg, such as his Huntig party (whereabouts unknown) and a Hunt scene, sold Sotheby's London, 7 Dec. 1994, both oil on copper. The relatively dark palette, the figures' wooden pose and small heads are characteristics of Ferg's manner, showing the influence of Dutch, Flemish and Italian models. This painting is typical of Ferg's production, which usually combines landscape and genre painting.

Historical context note

Franz de Paula Ferg (1689-1740) was born in Vienna and trained as a landscape painter by his father, Adam Pankraz Ferg (1651-1729) and by Josef Orient (1677-1747), as well as studying staffage painting with Johann (Hans) Graf (1653-1710). In 1718 he moved to Bamberg, and later to Leipzig and Dresden. In 1724, he settled in London where he died in poverty.

Landscape paintings became extremely popular in the Netherlands during the 17th century and increasingly encompassed a variety of forms and genres. By the 18th century numerous Dutch and Flemish landscapes were in the Imperial and aristocratic collections in Vienna, where they were influential upon local artists. This Riding lesson, which shows elegant men astride their horses, relates closely to the hunt scene genre, a popular subject during the 17th century, and well illustrated in the Netherlands by such artists as Ludolf de Jongh (1616-1679 and Abraham Hondius (1625/30-1691).

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'A Riding Lesson', reattributed to Franz de Paula Ferg, early 18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

C.M. Kauffmann, Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London,Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, cat. no. 114.
C. Brossels, 'Charles van Falens' in Revue Belge d'Archéologie et d'Histoire de l'Art, xxxiv, 1965, p. 225.
B.S. Long, Catalogue of the Jones Collection, 1923, p. 10.


Oil paint; Copper


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Courtyard; Buildings; Figures; Horses




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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