John Emms - Portrait studies of Jack Russell terriers

John Emms

Portrait studies of Jack Russell terriers

Oil on canvas: 9.3(h) x 7.8(w) in /

23.5(h) x 19.7(w) cm

A pair, one signed lower right: Jo. EMMS

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BV 192

JOHN EMMS

Blofield, Norfolk 1841 – 1912 Lyndhurst

Portrait studies of Jack Russell terriers

A pair; the former signed lower right: Jo. Emms

Oil on canvas: 9 ¼ x 7 ¾ in / 23.5 x 19.7 cm

Frame size: 14 x 12 in / 35.6 x 30.5 cm

Provenance:

Private collection, UK;

Richard Green, London, 1996;

private collection, USA

JOHN EMMS

Blofield, Norfolk 1841 – 1912 Lyndhurst

John Emms was born at Blofield, Norfolk, the son of the painter Henry William Emms. His own artistic ambitions took him to London and for some time he worked as Frederick, Lord Leighton’s studio assistant. Emms helped Leighton to execute the fresco of The Ten Wise and Foolish Virgins in the church of St Michael and All Angels, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, adding the owl, a symbol of Sloth. From 1866 onwards, Emms exhibited 290 works at the Royal Academy, as well as at Suffolk Street and various other venues. In 1875, the London exhibition entitled The Beauties of the New Forest included three of his paintings.

Endowed with artistic talent, equestrian accomplishment and social grace, Emms rapidly acquired a large clientele and was commissioned to paint horses, hounds and dog portraits, travelling extensively around the country. In 1880 he married Fanny Primmer, the daughter of a Lyndhurst gentleman; after the marriage they settled in London. He returned to Lyndhurst in the New Forest in 1881 and built a large house and studio named The Firs, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Emms’s early works were painted with precision and the use of glazing; he later developed a more fluent and direct approach, using a more limited palette. He was a prolific painter much admired for the vitality of his animal portraits and especially for the understanding and sensitivity in his depiction of dogs.

SportingJohn Emms