Christie's /Jan 26, 2011
€223,530.29 - €372,550.48
Artworks in Arcadja81
Some works of Arthur John ElsleyExtracted between 81 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Dec 12, 2013 - LondonLot number: 44
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Arthur John Elsley (1860-1952) Hold Up/Here He Comes signed and dated 'ARTHUR J. ELSLEY/ 1901.' (lower left) oil on canvas 35 x 26½ in. (89 x 67.5 cm.) Purchased from the Royal Academy by Bibby's for £175 and later donated to The Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital. Bibby's Quarterly - Literary Supplement, vol. IV, no. 3, Christmas 1901. T. Parker, Golden Hours, The Paintings of Arthur J. Elsley 1860-1952, Somerset, 1998, p. 89, and illustrated, p. 67. M. Wheatley, Arthur. J. Elsley, The Children's Artist, This England, Winter 1981, p. 14. London, Royal Academy, 1901, no. 890. Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, 11 January 1985, no. 692. Hold Up/Here He Comes is full of anticipation and fun, and encapsulates the very best features of the artist's work. It is a celebration of what a contemporary review termed 'these bright scenes of childhood. He knows all the ingredients that compose the children's paradise'. Born in 1860, the son of coachman, Elsley joined the South Kensington School of Art at the age of fourteen. In 1876 he became a probationer at the Royal Academy Schools, and submitted his first exhibit to the Royal Academy in 1878. By 1887 he was sharing a studio at 151 Gloucester Road, Kensington, with George Greville Manton, who later introduced Elsley to Fred Morgan (see lot 40). Elsley was to paint the animals in Morgan's pictures in succession to Allen Sealey. Following the death of Charles Burton Barber in 1894, he was considered the foremost painter of animals and children in the country. In 1900, following an estrangement with Morgan, who accused him of stealing ideas for pictures, Elsley started to execute works on a grander scale. He continued to exhibit at the Royal Academy until 1917, but thereafter painted less and less, owing to failing eyesight. We are grateful to Terry Parker for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.
Auction: Bonhams -Jul 13, 2011 - LondonLot number: 168
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Arthur John Elsley (British, 1861-1952) At Bay signed and dated 'ARTHUR J. ELSLEY 1898' (lower left) oil on canvas 87 x 65cm (34 1/4 x 25 9/16in). PROVENANCE: Sale, Christie's London, 15 June 1925, as 'Mistletoe'; bought Mason55 guineas Private collection Canada EXHIBITED: London, Royal Academy, 1899, no. 579, Gallery VII as 'At Bay' LITERATURE: Black and White Handbook to the Royal Academy, 1899 Terry Parker, Golden Hours, The Paintings of Arthur J. Elsley1860-1952 . Shepton Beauchamp, pp. 42 and 64. Arthur John Elsley, the son of a coachman, and talented amateurartist, entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1876 where he learnthis trade. In 1889 he joined the North London studio of establishedartist, and leading exponent of juvenile scenes, Fred Morgan(1847-1927). Morgan believed in the old adage every picture tells astory. Elsley turned his portraiture skills to story-telling andsoon became as successful as his mentor. Following his marriage in1893 Elsley set up studio at his home 28 Finchley Road, St. John'sWood, London. Despite the move, the same four local street childrenalso appear in Morgan's works of this period. At bay follows in the tradition of children playing on agate by William Collins, RA entitled Happy as a King exhibited at the Royal Academy 1836. Elsley, while training at theRoyal Academy Schools, would have studied the painting where ithung in the National Gallery. Rather than Collins's five bar gateElsley uses a lych-gate. Childhood fun and merriment run throughoutElsley's work. Here the cheeky boy is jokingly encouraging thegirls to kiss him under the mistletoe. The youngest girl and theboy feature in Elsley's Weatherbound (also 1898) shelteringfrom the falling snow, with a collie dog, in an improvised kennelmade out of an empty barrel. Three of the children are seenwalking, holding an umbrella, during snowfall, with an old manasking Any Room for Me? This was painted the previous yearin 1897. In 1900, again in the snow, two of the girls, with the boygiving the smaller girl a pick-a-back ride while she directs themhome This Way . Elsley contracted measles as a youth which left him short-sighted.He always worked close to the canvas and paid careful attention todetail which is evident in the mistletoe, and the worn shoes. Heworked rapidly completing at least five works in 1898. The artistalways kept a ready supply of costumes for his young models in hisstudio dressing-up box He painted nine snow-scenes, plus others depicting Christmassubjects. There was a lucrative market for them as they wereeagerly sought for reproduction as calendars, or by popularmagazines (like The Illustrated London News ), for use aslarge presentation prints, given away with the special Christmasnumber of the magazine. Fierce competition for circulation dependedon the quality and popularity of the print, and Elsley was the mostpopular reproduced artist of the period. The present lot wasreproduced as a colour chromo-lithograph calendar re-named as Pay Toll . We are grateful to Terry Parker for his assistance in cataloguingthis lot.
Auction: Sotheby's -May 5, 2011 - New YorkLot number: 56
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LOT 56 ARTHUR JOHN ELSLEY BRITISH, 1861 - 1952 A DEAD HEAT signed ARTHUR J. ELSLEY and dated 1893 (lower left) oil on canvas 150,000—200,000 USD measurements measurements 38 1/4 by 25 1/2 in. alternate measurements 97.2 by 64.8 cm Private Collection, Canada London, Royal Academy, 1893, no. 516 Terry Parker, Golden Hours: The Paintings of Arthur J. Elsley1860-1952, Shepton Beauchamp, 1998, pp. 21-2, illustrated p. 12 Elsley's paintings, which he continued to exhibit at the RoyalAcademy until 1917, demonstrate his artistic aptitude for, as wellas the commercial popularity of, sentimental narratives at thetime. His delightful renditions of children frequently show themplaying amongst themselves or with their pets, and Elsley cleverlyrelies on humour to create narratives that continue to captivatehis audience's interest. For example, in I'se Biggest , whichwas exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1892 and won him considerablepublic acclaim, a small girl stands on a book and measures herselfagainst an enormous St Bernard Dog, while in Suprised!, of1904, a lady on her horse is shown leaping over a monastery walland scattering monks in all directions. Similarly, A Dead Heat is a tremendously charmingpainting that became very well known not only among collectors ofElsley's work, but the general public as well. Many of Elsley'spaintings were engraved or used for advertisements, greatlyenhancing his popularity and making him a household name and hisidyllic images of childhood icons of the Edwardian Era. A black andwhite photo of this painting appears in Royal Academy Notes (1893,p. 100), opposite Roses and Thorns , by Fred Morgan, withwhom Elsley shared a studio. Both works were copyrighted by BerlinPhotographic, and a representative from the print company wouldhave visited their studio prior in order to select which works toreproduce. A Dead Heat marked Elsley's first work to bepublished by the company and the start of a long association. It was also common for well-known paintings to be parodied andA Dead Heat was so well recognized that it was used twice inpolitical cartoons. First, by Joseph Morwood Staniforth in TheWestern Mail, 10th June 1893, showing three contestants for theLiberal leadership climbing the stairs with Gladstone "Coaxing ThemUp" and, soon afterwards, James Affleck Shepherd drew "Which Wins?"with the contestants' faces superimposed onto the scramblingpuppies; from left to right they were Lord Rosebery, Sir WilliamHarcourt and Earl Spencer. Children and animals are not the most cooperative subjects,however, and Elsley ought to be credited for his patience andinventiveness in the studio. In 1904, The London Magazine wrote the following about the painting: "Perhaps, of all Mr. Elsley's works, A Dead Heat was the mosttiring and troublesome to paint. The reason was the difficulty inthe getting the puppies to stand in the position he wanted. As apreliminary, the stairs were made and taken to the studio. With apiece of meat in his hand, Mr. Elsley would endeavor to entice thepuppies to the top; and he would study the various positions inwhich they scrambled up until he had discovered those which suitedhis purpose best. Having determined the positions, the difficultywas to get the animals to keep them. Of course, only one dog couldbe painted at a time, so the difficulty of the problem was reduced,at all events, to a certain extent In the earlier stages of theproceedings, however, there was an unexpected difficulty. The puppywould not remain on the steps unless it was supported or heldthere; and Mr. Elsley found that as soon as he turned his back togo to the easel the little animal would scamper down the steps.When Mr. Elsley attempted to catch it, it would run off round thestudio, evidently thinking he was playing a game with it. Thehumour of this, however am
Auction: Christie's -Jan 26, 2011 - New YorkLot number: 223
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Arthur John Elsley (London 1860-1952) Home Team signed and dated 'ARTHUR J ELSLEY/1903' (lower right) oil on canvas 40 x 53½ in. (101.6 x 135.9 cm.) Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM A TEXAN COLLECTION Provenance with Frost & Reed, London. Literature T. Parker, Golden Hours. The Paintings of Arthur John Elsley1880-1952, Shepton Beaumont, 1998, p. 94. Lot Notes The Home Team depicts a procession of elegantly dressed, joyfulchildren pretending to be horses pulling a carriage, accompanied bya faithful family collie. Although a simple narrative, The HomeTeam depicts the best features of Elsley's paintings. It has atimeless atmosphere and encapsulates the joy of childhood.Referring to another work of the same year, Golden Hours, but alsorelevant to the present painting, a contemporary noted, 'Mr. Elsleyis a master of these bright scenes of childhood. He knows all theingredients that compose the children's paradise; a pony and a dog,a lovely garden and romping spirits untouched by any shade of care'(Bibby's Quarterly Summer 1908). Elsley's beloved only childMarjorie features twice in this painting, both as the child openingthe gate and girl with the white dress and red sash who leads theprocession. She appears in many of his most important paintings.Elsley's favorite dog was a collie named 'Scamp' who also is inmany other of his works. The procession of children with attendantdogs and ponies (both real or imaginary) is one of Elsley's mostsuccessful compositions and he used it for some of his best-knownworks such as Golden Hours (Christie's, New York, 18 October 2000,lot 52, $831,000), also painted in 1903. Terry Parker has suggested that The Home Team is an adaptation ofFrederick Morgan's Sea Horses which was used as a print for Pearssoap in 1894. In 1904, Elsley painted a complimentary work of thesame size entitled The Happy Pair/A Royal Procession depictingchildren processing in a make-believe wedding with a dog-cartdecorated in garlands (Parker, op. cit., illustrated p. 71). Born in 1860, the son of a coachman, Elsley joined the SouthKensington School of Art at the age of fourteen. In 1876 he becamea probationer at the Royal Academy Schools, and submitted his firstexhibit to the Royal Academy in 1878. By 1887, he was sharing astudio at 151 Gloucester Road, Kensington, with George GrevilleManton, who later introduced Elsley to Frederick Morgan (seeprevious lot). Elsley was to paint the animals in Morgan's picturesin success to Allen Sealey, and following the death of CharlesBurton Barber in 1894, was considered the foremost painter ofanimals and children in the country. In 1900, following anestrangement with Morgan who accused him of stealing ideas forpictures, Elsley started to execute works on a grander scale. Hecontinued to exhibit at the Royal Academy until 1917. A pottery plaque of The Home Team (minus the figure on the right)was produced by Empire Works in Stoke-on-Trent (Parker, op. cit.,p. 94).
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 16, 2010 - LondonLot number: 42
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LOT 42 PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN ARTHUR JOHN ELSLEY 1860-1952 BEFORE THE BATH signed and dated l.l.: ARTHUR ELSLEY/ 1900; attached to thereverse a letter from the artist's daughter dated 27/12/89 reads:Thank you for your letter of Dec. 21st and for so kindly sending meyour catalogue, received this morning. I think the reproductionsare beautifully reproduced and I had never before seen one of"Bathtime". I note the date is 1900, but I was born in 1903, sothis little girl was actually an earlier model, who happened to berather similar. But I expect the collie was this old 'Blue-' ofwhom they often spoke. My father's dates were 1860 to 1952/ Withbest New Year wishes,/ Yours sincerely/ Marjorie Wheatley oil on canvas 70,000—100,000 GBP measurements 88 by 67cm.; 34½ by 26½in. Description signed and dated l.l.: ARTHUR ELSLEY/ 1900; attached to thereverse a letter from the artist's daughter dated 27/12/89 reads:Thank you for your letter of Dec. 21st and for so kindly sending meyour catalogue, received this morning. I think the reproductionsare beautifully reproduced and I had never before seen one of"Bathtime". I note the date is 1900, but I was born in 1903, sothis little girl was actually an earlier model, who happened to berather similar. But I expect the collie was this old 'Blue-' ofwhom they often spoke. My father's dates were 1860 to 1952/ Withbest New Year wishes,/ Yours sincerely/ Marjorie Wheatley oil on canvas PROVENANCE Possibly, Christie's London, 1931/2, bought 'Nicol';John Noott Gallery, Worcestershire, 1989 LITERATURE AND REFERENCES Terry Parker, Golden Hours: The Paintings of Arthur J. Elsley1860-1952, 1998, illus. p.45