with Horse and Hound

The Recognizable Foxhounds of John Emms


foxhounds and terrier2.emmsFoxhounds and Terrier, oil painting by John Emms

John Emms (1843–1912) is certainly one of the most admired animal painters of the nineteenth century. He was an avid foxhunter himself, and his paintings of foxhounds are easily recognizable—clearly and uniquely his work. The postures, characteristic attitudes, and expressions of Emms foxhounds, in kennels especially, confirm his hand before ever seeing a signature. I can stare from one hound to the other and the essence of his foxhounds will awaken even my olfactory senses and suggest my presence in a well-kept foxhound kennel.

Born on April 21, 1843, the son of an amateur artist in Norfolk, England, the young Emms moved to London where he apprenticed with the great academic painter, Lord Frederick Leighton. Emms very quickly developed his own distinctive style, however, and soon struck out on his own.

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