Arthur John Elsley

1860-1952

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Artist Arthur John Elsley’s estimates, ratings and prices

Price of a painting: 1,100 – 143,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 10 – 200 €.

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Arthur John Elsley’s education

Elsley is an English painter born in 1860. His work dates from the end of the Victorian era. The works that made him famous are his idyllic genre scenes in which he depicts young children playing with their pets.

He was born in London to an artist father, along with his five brothers and sisters. Gifted at drawing from an early age, he entered South Kensington School of Art, but an illness forever affected his eyes and vision.

Trips and encounters

Many of his paintings are inspired by his many trips to the English countryside. He exhibited his first painting in 1878. However, Elsley remained at school until 1882 and accepted commissions for portraits of children and dogs, as well as horses, where he really excelled. Most of his commissions came from the Benett-Stanford family of politicians.

Elsley was friends with the English painter Joseph Solomon. He also met Frederick Morgan, a popular children’s painter. He moved to Morgan’s studio in 1889, which enabled the two friends to help each other in their practice.

The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington and the Frederick Morgan’s influence

Elsley was awarded a silver medal at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1891 for his painting “The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington”. The following year his work I’se Biggest was published, which had to be reprinted later due to its popular success. It was a representation of a young girl comparing her size to that of a gigantic Saint Bernard. The London illustrated newspapers printed one of her paintings for the cover of their Christmas issue in 1893.

In November 1893 Elsley married Emily “Emm” Fusedale, his cousin who served as his model for many years. They had a daughter, Marjorie, who was her father’s model for several paintings, some of which are particularly well known. His marriage gave the painter the opportunity to have his own studio, which did not prevent him from visiting and working with his friend Frederick Morgan. Unfortunately, Morgan came to accuse Elsley of stealing some of his ideas. After this, Elsley became more daring in his compositions, painting scenes with many characters, and rarely left his studio.

The impact of the Great War

The advent of the First World War considerably reduced his productivity, with Elsey producing only four paintings between 1915 and 1917. He also contributed to the war effort by joining the army, which further aggravated his poor eyesight. In the 1930s he was only able to do woodcarving and gardening.

He died at his home in Tunbridge Wells on February 19, 1952.

Appraising and selling a piece by Arthur John Elsley

If you own a piece by Arthur John Elsley or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.

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