He specialised in painting horses and, as such, was a natural successor to George Stubbs in the English tradition of animal depiction.
Possessing considerable talent as an artist, he was also influenced by Impressionism which he incorporated into his work.
As President of the Royal Academy from 1944-1949, he was a strong opponent of the prevailing modern art. These views, however, led to a notorious speech at an RA function in 1949 which was widely reported and heavily criticised.
He lived the greater part of his life in Dedham, where there is a museum examining his life and works.