John Emms



Artist's Biography & Works For Sale


John Emms was born in 1843 at Blofield, Norfolk, to amateur artist Henry William Emms. Perhaps through his father’s influence, Emms decided to take up a career as an artist himself. He focused primarily on painting animals including dogs such as hounds and terriers, horses, donkeys, foxes, cats and birds with quick, confident, vigorous and fluid brushstrokes.

In 1866, he made his debut at the Royal Academy with ‘The Birds Nester.’  In 1872 he became an assistant to the academic painter and sculptor Frederic Lord Leighton P.R.A (1830 – 1896). He helped Leighton execute the fresco "The Ten Virgins" in the Lyndhurst Church in the New Forest, Hampshire and he loved it so much he decided to move there.

In 1880, Emms married Fanny Primer, the daughter of a Lyndhurst official and they settled in London briefly as he continued to paint and exhibit at various places including The British Institution, The Royal Society of British Artists and at the New Watercolour Society. In 1888 Emms moved back to Lyndhurst where he built an imposing house named ‘The Firs’. Emms received many commissions from wealthy patrons throughout his distinguished career.

In 1902 he suffered a stroke but only passed away 10 years later on the 1st of November 1912.

Works by John Emms are highly sought after and are held in various public collections including the National Gallery of Scotland.


We wish to buy original oil paintings by John Emms, so if you have one for sale please contact us for a free appaisal.