Because I collect in the manner I do, I find items which are considered valueless. Often times they are damaged and imperfect and in need of love and attention. Such is the case with today’s artwork.
I picked up this piece earlier this week. It was close to being thrown in the trash. Damaged and dirty, it was considered unwanted. It, in fact, is an artwork (approx. 220 years old) by a known artist and it has not been seen for over 100 year or more.
#DeanWolstenholme (1757-1837), the Elder, was a Yorkshireman by birth but lived most of his life in Essex and Hertfordshire – Cheshunt, Turnford, and Waltham Abbey. His early working life was centred around the sporting and hunting pastimes of the rich. He was at this point an amateur artist. Due to financial problems, Wolstenholme turned to painting professionally around 1800. At this point he also moved to London (East Street, Red Lion Square). In 1803, he began to exhibit (picture entitled – Coursing) at the Royal Academy and there after annually until 1824. His speciality was animal pictures, hunting/sporting scenes. After 1826, Wolstenholme painted little. He died in 1837 at a good age of 80 and is buried in Old St. Pancras churchyard. His son Dean Wolstenholme, the Younger, was to follow in his fathers artistic footprints to become a very famous painter of country sporting life, in his own right.
The painting I acquired is called #TomMoody’sFuneral. You can see the damage and it will soon be off to the restorer for cleaning, mending, and reframing. This is what many years of neglect can do to a fine piece of art.
The scene depicts the moment when, Tom Moody’s body (d. 1796) was consigned to the grave. It was his wish that the gathered give vent to the ‘view-halloo’ and ‘tally-ho’ as he was laid to earth. Moody was long time whipper-in to Mr George Forester’s hunt in Shropshire. His odd request led to a ballad being composed about him which was performed at Drury Lane.
A great and fascinating find!