Francis Barlow was an English painter, etcher, and illustrator.
He ranks among the most prolific book-illustrators and printmakers of the 17th century, working across several genres: natural history, hunting and recreation, politics, and decoration and design.
Barlow is known as "the father of British sporting painting"; he was Britain's first wildlife painter, beginning a tradition that reached a high-point a century later, in the work of George Stubbs. He was furthermore a pioneer in the history of comics by creating A True Narrative of the Horrid Hellish Popish Plot, a picture story about the life of Titus Oates and the Popish Plot, which is told in a series of illustrated sequences where the story is written underneath them and the characters depicted on those images use speech balloons to talk. While it is not the first example of its kind in history, it is one of the oldest which is signed.