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Rysdyk's Hambletonian

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


After 1876


Artist unknown (American, 19th century)

About this artwork

Although the artist who created this work is not known, the story it depicts was widely popular in the mid-19th century. The painting portrays William Rysdyk, a farm laborer in Chester, New York, standing next to his prized horse. Named Hambletonian, the colt became a celebrated racer and produced generations of winning horses, bringing wealth and fame to its owner. Portraits of Rysdyk and Hambletonian proliferated, some in oil and others as print reproductions. This composition is similar to several lithographs published in the 1860s and broadly circulated in 1876, the year of Hambletonian’s death. The artist may have seen one of these prints and followed it closely to create this painting.


On View, Gallery 160


Arts of the Americas


Artist unknown


Rysdyk's Hambletonian


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Inscribed recto, bottom-left, on banner, in red pigment: "HAMBLETONIAN".


63.5 × 76.2 cm (25 × 30 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Rudyard Boulton

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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