John Emms


British 1843 - 1912

John Emms was born at Blofield, Norfolk in 1843.  Working in London, he briefly spent time at Lyndhurst assisting Lord Leighton, whose fresco in the Church of St Michael and St George was completed in 1864.  Emms left London for Lyndhurst in 1869, and in November 1880 married the daughter of a New Forest official.  Emms immediately returned to London with his new wife, where he set up home in Beaufort Street, Chelsea, then an artistsí colony. Emms also had a studio in Leicester Square, and became famous for his dress and somewhat Bohemian lifestyle.

John and Fanny Emms returned to Lyndhurst in 1886 to build a large house in Queens Road called "The Firs" (the house is still standing today, with the original kennels etc.). In 1902 Emms suffered a stroke, which limited his activities so far as traveling around the country was concerned. He drank, and things went from bad to worse until they had to sell "The Firs" in 1911. They lived in lodging across the road until he died on 1st November 1912. Over 150 paintings by Emms, traded for booze at the Stag, Lyndhurst, were taken to Australia by the emigrating publican a few years later; some are now beginning to trickle back to this country.

A noted sporting and hunting enthusiast, Emms received many commissions through his contacts made in the field, Emms exhibited his first painting at the Royal Academy in 1866, and went on to exhibit many more times at the Academy as well as in Suffolk Street. Emms is one of the most sought after of all sporting artists.


The Proud Mother
Oil on canvas
20" x 30"

Sleeping Hound & Terrier
Oil on board
17" x 23"

Hounds at Rest
Oil on Canvas
22" x 36"