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John Theodore Eardley Kenney

John Theodore Eardley Kenney (1911 - 1972) British.
Biography: Born in Leicestershire, this painter was educated at the City Boy's school and later at Leicester school of Art. He sketched horses from his earliest childhood days, and after Art school began a career as a commercial artist. During the Second World War he served first in the 44th Searchlight Regiment and later in the 121st Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He made many drawings during the war which are now included in the records of the Regiment at the Royal Army Museum, Woolwich. In 1946 he illustrated Edward Bouskell-Wade's There is an Honour Likewise, a history of the Leicestershire Yeomanry during the second War. Fox hunting and the Fernie Hunt were kenney's main interests and sources of inspiration; in 1952 he gave up commercial art and specialised entirely in sporting paintings. He had several one-man exhibitions in the provinces and his pictures were exhibited by principal London Galleries; such as Arthur Ackermann & Son. He received many commissions becoming particularly popular in the USA. In 1972 he had an exhibition at Abercrombie and Fitch, New York and in Chicago. Kenney suffered ill health for most of his life and therefore his travels and output were limited. In 1968 he lost the sight of one eye but continued to paint until the end of his life. He was said to be a man of great kindness, modesty and humour. He lived at Smeeton Westerby, Leicestershire. His work makes Kenney one of the finer artists of the century. He worked mainly in oil but also in watercolour and sometimes pen and ink. His work is strong and direct, he was a tremendous draughtsman who showed a great understanding of horses and hounds. His pictures are full of atmosphere, and his use of light and feel for colour are excellent. He was influenced by the works of Sir Alfred J. Munnings and from this painting which has transparency and incandescent colours you can see just how much he was obviously enthused by Sir Alfred J. Munnings work.

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