Aldin, Cecil (1870-1935)
Showing promise as an artist from a very early age, Cecil Aldin studied in Kensington and the National Art Training school under Frank Calderon. He sold his first drawing in 1890 and was subsequently widely published as a magazine and book illustrator. He became an RBA in 1898. His first set of Hunting Prints, ‘The Fallowfield Hunt’, was published in 1899, the beginning of an extremely successful enterprise that included many sporting and animal subjects from Hunting, Inns, Coaching and Racing to humorous sketches featuring his favourite dogs. Aldin was a keen rider and hunted with both the West Surrey Staghounds and later the South Berkshire, of which he became Master. He also founded a beagle pack for the RAF and was hunting correspondent to a magazine, which enabled him to indulge his love of the sport with many different packs.
In 1930 Aldin and his wife moved to Majorca, hoping that the climate would help to ease the crippling arthritis in his hands. He returned in 1934 and tragically had a heart attack on the boat trip home, from which he did not survive.
Working mainly in pastel, watercolour and later on becoming an accomplished etcher, Aldin is perhaps best known for his wonderfully humorous dog paintings, but was also a fine equestrian artist. His works are still hugely popular and collectible today, 100 years after his prints first became a hit with the general public. Still widely acclaimed as one of our best dog artists today in particular for his work with his two favourite dogs – ‘Cracker’ the bull terrier and ‘Micky’ the wolfhound.