John Emms

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        Back in stock.

        Below are a selection of John Emms truly stunning modern prints in stock. They are sent rolled in a hard tube to avoid damage. Unstretched.

        Emms is one of my personal favourite dog painters. His original works now sell for tens of thousands of pounds. He was a keen huntsman with a consummate interest in the sporting field and had the rare ability to give real life to his subject. He was at his very best when painting dogs; with confident use of fluid brushstrokes he gives weight and solidity to their different physical characteristics as well as their individual temperaments.

        Born on April 21st 1844 at Blofield, Norfolk, Emms was the son of Henry William Emms an amateur artist. Emms had two brothers and a sister, the eldest of which married the brother of Sir William Richmond P.R.A. Like all aspiring artists, Emms travelled to London where he became an assistant to Frederic Lord Leighton P.R.A. It was through Leighton that Emms first visited Lyndhurst when he assisted the former to paint a fresco in Lyndhurst Parish Church. He then made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1866 and proceeded to exhibit elsewhere at the British Institution, Royal Society of British Artists and the New Watercolour Society.

        In 1872 he returned to Lyndhurst where his skill in portraying animals, particularly dogs as well as his participation in the hunting field and convivial nature led to no want of patrons. Powell, for instance, much admired Emms' talent and commissioned the artist to paint a scene of the kill, showing him with Will Povey. The Victorian gentleman's love of his horse and dog led to many other commissions including one from the Duke of Newcastle to paint his Clumber spaniels and from other dog owners to depict their Crufts winners. In 180 Emms married Fanny Primmer, daughter of a local Lyndhurst gentleman. Soon after their marriage he was working in London but returned in either 1883 or 1888 to Lyndhurst where he built a large house and studio in Queens Road.

        Emms cut a flamboyant figure, always dressed in a long black cloak and matching wide brimmed hat. He and his family led a somewhat bohemian life. When times were good, after selling a painting, he would take Fanny, their three daughters and son up to London to stay in the best hotels and live life to the full. But times were not always good. During the early 1900s Emms suffered a stroke and was unable to work; as a result he took to heavy drinking and the family's finances went from bad to worse.

        His work entitled Hours of Idleness showing six foxhounds and a terrier in a kennel hung at the Royal Academy 1899. It was sold in 2004 achieving a world auction record for the artist despite having passed through the sale rooms a few years before.

        His work New Forest Foxhounds sold for over 547,000 at auction at Bonhams in 2006.

        He died in 1912.



        We are based in South London near Croydon and viewing is welcome.


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