This fabulous little painting is by the highly sought after artist, John Church Dempsey (b 1802 – d 1877). John was born in Bath, England in 1802; his mother was from Sherborne, Dorset. Provenance - this portrait was purchased from an estate in Sherborne, Dorset. John was a fascinating and talented artist; we have provided only a snap shot of his life below:

John Dempsey was an English portraitist, he is perhaps most well-known for his watercolour portrait of interesting people from up and down the country. Those works really are quite remarkable; we have never seen anything like them. We would recommend researching them, his works are held in several museums. Very often professional artists would only paint wealthy sitters, as they were the only ones who had the means to commission a portrait. However, John chose to paint anyone and everyone and did a fantastic job of documenting the fascinating people that lived in Britain’s towns and cities from street cleaners to stock brokers.

John spent most of his life painting, for a short time during the 1840s he owned a stationary shop in Bristol from which he would also deal in art and antiques. Not long after this he sadly became bankrupt and took to painting once more. The 1850s -1860s were somewhat of an awkward time for portraits, due to the rise in popularity of photography. Around this time John turned his hand to photography, he was clearly a forward thinker and a survivor.

Our full length painting depicts a little girl wearing a red dress playing with her pull toy. The painting is signed by the artist in the shadow of the child reading ‘Sketched by J. Dempsey Artist.’ The painting is on paper and is housed behind old glass in its original frame.
Reference: National Portrait Gallery Australia, DEMPSEY'S PEOPLE, A folio of British street portraits 1824–1844.
‘A Folio of Dempsey's People’ by David Hansen.

Measuring: Frame width 9 1/8 inch (23.5 cm) by height 8 1/8 inch (20.5 cm). Frame depth 1 5/8 inch (4 cm). Aperture width 6 inch (15.5 cm) by height 5 inch (13 cm).

Condition: Light surface wear to the frame. Age darkening/ toning and some slight undulation to the paper.

Shipping: FREE Express Courier shipping to mainland USA and UK. Buyers are responsible for any import taxes/duties/fees.

Gouache, Watercolor
Folk Art, Portrait, Victorian
Americana, Eclectic, English Country, Traditional
England • English
Early 19th Century

Trinity Antiques

19th Century John Church Dempsey Portrait, English Naïve School, Girl Red Dress and Pull Toy, Folk Art, 1830s


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    Trinity Antiques

    Victoria Clark
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    The Cotswolds , England , UK This Shop is rated Platinum - 1,000 or more sales Platinumsince 2011

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