John Charles Dollman RWS RI ROI (1851-1934)

The painter John Charles Dollman was born in Hove, and came to London to study at South Kensington and the Royal Academy Schools before establishing his studio in Bedford Park, London. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from the 1870s through until 1912. The following year he was elected RWS. His forte was bold compositions featuring animals, and he also produced a range of simple compositions just showing animals, sometimes sporting, sometimes genre. Perhaps his best known work is A London Cab Stand (1888), focussing on the horses, standing together in stormy surroundings. He painted at least three versions of this picture, and there are other cases where he made copies or near-copies after particular pictures. Among his impressive mythological pictures are The Unknown (1912), featuring a girl surrounded by chimps, Orpheus and his Lute with lions, and a Viking horde entitled The Ravegers. In the 1890s he painted pictures of soldiers, and some rather feeble genre pictures of people with animals. Other work included good wild animal pictures without any attempt at narrative content.

Dollman was also an illustrator, working in colour and black and white for various magazines including the Graphic during the 1880s and later. Apparently some of his early work had an influence on Van Gogh.

Dollman's paintings are in the collections of many galleries, but tend to languish in reserve collections rather than being on the walls. A version of The Unknown is in the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. A London Cab Stand is in the London Museum. A Dog's Home, Table d'Hote is in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and a strange picture of two golfers being approached by a pair of religious people - During the Time of the Sermonses is in the collection of the Harris Art Gallery, Preston. The excellent Famine is in Salford.

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