John Nott Sartorius (Nost)
The son of Francis Sartorius, and grandson of John Sartorius, he referred himself in the Royal Academy catalogues as “J.N. Sartorius junior”, to distinguish himself from his father and grandfather. He was the brother of Francis, a noted marine painter. Nost was probably the most prolific of the Sartorius family, as more of his works seem to have survived. John Nost exhibited at the SA (1778) the FS (1776-83) and the RA (1781-1824). His exhibited works were primarily portraits of horses but also included racing and hunting scenes. His patrons included the Price of Wales, the Earl of Derby, Lord Foley, Charles James Fox and Christopher Wilson. Some of his paintings were reproduced in “The Sporting Magazine”. According to his publisher, Siltzer, he spent much of his time at an Inn in Surrey and worked frequently at Newmarket. He always used London addresses from which to send his pictures.
The success of the Sartorius family was due as much to their central position in London and their marketing powers as to their ability as painters. Today the name is foremost in many people’s minds because of the quantity of their work. John Nost, although more advanced in sty le than his father and grandfather, was still rather old-fashioned in technique. He work is frequently naïve, although there is a certain characteristic free roundness to his horses which are better painted than his human figures. His composition is usually quite pleasing and his hunting scenes are full of interest. It is easy to be over-critical of his work as so much of it has been defaced by bad restoration.
Siltzer published 42 prints from John Nost paintings, mainly portraits of racehorses, hunting and racing scenes.
*Special thanks to Sally Mitchell