Elmore, Alfred, R.A.

(18 June 1815 - 24 January 1881)

Historlcal and genre painter, was born at Clonakilty, in the county of Cork, on the day of the battle of Waterloo. His father was a retired army surgeon, who, when his son was about twelve years of age, removed to London, where young Elmore began his career by drawing from the Alipio in the British Museum. In 1832 he entered the schools of the Royal Academy, and in 1834 exhibited there his first picture, a 'Subject from an Old Play.' After this he went abroad, visiting Paris, Munich, Venice, Bologna, Florence, and ultimately Rome, where he remained for two years. He returned home in 1844, and in that year exhibited his 'Rienzi in the Forum,' which attracted much notice, and with 'The Origin of the Guelph and Ghibeiine Quarrel in Florence,' exhibited in 1845, secured his election as an Associate in the latter year. His next popular picture was 'The Invention of the Stocking Loom,' exhibited in 1847, and engraved for the Art Union of London. In 1857 Elmore was elected a Royal Academician, and painted as his diploma work a subject from the "Two Gentlemen of Verona." But the best picture which he ever painted was that which he exhibited in 1860 of 'The Tuileries, 20th June, 1792,' representing the terrible scene of Marie Antoinette assailed in her own palace by the revolutionary mob. One of the most impressive pictures which he exhibited after this was 'Within the Convent Walls,' in the Academy Exhibition of 1864. He painted chiefly pictures of romantic incident, the subjects of which were occasionally drawn from his own fancy, but oftener derived from fiction or poetry. His greatest successes, however, were won in historical painting. Elmore died at Kensington, January 24th, 1881, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. Besides the pictures above mentioned, the following are his principal works:

The Martyrdom of St. Thomas à Becket 1840. Painted for Daniel O'Connell, and now in St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, Dublin.
The Novice. 1843.
The Fainting of Hero. 1846.
The Deathbed of Robert, King of Naples. 1848.
Religious Controversy in the time of Louis XIV. 1849.
Griselda. 1850.
The Emperor Charles V. at Tuste. 1858.
An Incident in the life of Dante. 1858.
Marie Antoinette in the Temple. 1861.
The Invention of the Combing Machine. 1862. Lucrezia Borgia. 1863.
On the Brink. 1865.
After the Expulsion. 1873. Mary, Queen of Scots, and Darnley, at Jedburgh. 1877.
Lenore. 1871.

[Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers, 1871 & 1903]

Alfred Elmore, R. A. Born in Ireland, 1815. Studied in the British Museum, and entered the Royal Academy schools in 1832, exhibiting his first picture, "Scenes from an Old Play," in 1834. He painted for some time in Paris, visited other continental art cities, and spent some two years in Rome. He returned to England about 1844, and was elected Royal Academician in 1856. Among his earlier works are, "Rienzi in the Forum" (1844), and "The Invention of the Stocking Loom," a work frequently engraved. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, "The Tuileries, June 20, 1792", 1860; "Marie Antoinette in the Temple", 1861; "The Invention of the Combing-Machine", 1862; "Within the Convent Walls", 1864; "Ishmael", 1863; "Louis XIII. and Louis Quatorze", 1870; "Across the Fields", 1872; "After the Expulsion", 1873; "Mistress Hettie Lambert," from "The Virginians", in 1874; "Ophelia", 1875; "Mary Queen of Scots and Darnley at Jedburgh", 1877; "Pompeii, A. D. 79" and "John Alden and Priscilla", 1878. Three of Elmore's pictures, "Two Women shall be grinding at the Mill" (belonging to Sir John Bowring), "On the House-Tops," and "Lenore," were at the American Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876. "Lucretia Borgia," "Mary Stuart and Darnley," "After the Fall," and "Lenore" were at the Paris Exposition of 1878.

"Mr. Elmore hardly comes up to the power shown in his 'Lucretia Borgia' of last year [1868] by the return which he makes now to his favorite hunting-ground, the cloister. 'Within the Convent Walls' [R A., 1864], although not so brilliant an opportunity for color, is, however, a graceful and pleasing work, and painted with a greater completeness than the artist showed in former days.'' -- Palgrave's Essays on Art.

"Elmore has a style of subject and treatment that is very winning." -- Benjamin's Contemporary Art in Europe.

[Artists of the Nineteenth Century and their Works. Clara Erskine Clement and Laurence Hutton, 1879.] div
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ca. 1857 Alfred Elmore's Studio by William Maw Egley ca. 1859 ca. 1870's

ALFRED ELMORE, (1815–1881), painter, was born at Clonakilty, County Cork, in 1815. From his childhood he gave promise of distinction in art, and at the age of nineteen he exhibited his first picture at the Royal Academy. At the exhibition of the British Institution in 1838 his 'Crucifixion' occupied a prominent place, and in the succeeding year he made a second appearance at the Academy with 'The Martyrdom of Becket.' Both these pictures are now in one of the catholic churches in Dublin, the 'Becket' being a bequest to the church by Mr. O'Donnell, for whom it was painted. 'Rienzi in the Forum,' produced in 1844, and several Italian pictures exhibited at the British Institution, were the result of a visit paid by the artist to Italy. Elmore's Italian experiences and study accentuated his feeling for semi-historical subjects, and his representation of the 'Origin of the Guelph and Ghibelline Quarrel,' exhibited in 1845, established his reputation as an historical painter. The work was sold for 300l., and it also gained him his entrance as an associate into the Royal Academy. Among the late important works by this artist were: 'The Fainting of Hero,' from 'Much Ado about Nothing,' executed in 1846; 'The Invention of the Stocking Loom,' a picture which achieved great popularity, 1847; 'The Deathbed of Robert, King of Naples, the Wise and Good,' 1848; 'Religious Controversy in the Time of Louis XIV,' 1849; 'Griselda,' 1850; and 'Hotspur and the Fop,' 1851. Elmore was adequately represented at the International Exhibitions of London 1851 and 1862, and at the Paris Exhibitions of 1855 and 1878. Among the more popular of the works thus exhibited were 'Mary Queen of Scots,' 'After the Fall,' and 'Lucretia Borgia.' Elmore was elected an academician in 1877. He died in London, 24 Jan. 1881.

[Ann. Reg. 1881; Men of the Time. 10th edit.]
[Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 17; Elmore, Alfred by George Barnett Smith.]

Obituary of Alfred Elmore

By the death of Mr. Alfred Elmore, one of the older generation of artists has passed away, he having been in 1845 elected an associate of the Academy (where he first exhibited at the age of nineteen, in 1834) and having become a full member eleven years later. Mr. Elmore's reputation may be said to have been at it's height a quarter of a century ago, and he had suffered a lapse into comparative obscurity during the latter portion of his life. One of the few Irishmen who have sat at the councils of our Academy, Mr. Elmore, during the period of his art education, painted for some time in Paris and in Rome, without, however, adding to those qualities or ridding himself of those defects which are characteristically British. Among the best known of his works are 'The Crucifixion' and 'The Martydom of St.Thomas à Becket', which are both preserved in a Catholic church in Dublin, the latter having been originally painted for Daniel O'Connell; 'Rienzi in the Forum'; 'The Origin of the Guelph and Ghibelline Quarrel', which gained a purchaser in the holder of the Art Union's highest prize - 300 pounds; 'The Invention of the Stocking Loom,' the success of which led the artist to choose as a subject for a subsequent work, 'The Invention of the Combing-machine'; 'Within the Convent Walls', one of the cloisteral subjects which were popular with Mr. Elmore at one period, and, among his historical compositions, Louis XIII and Louis XIV.; 'The Tuileries', June 20, 1792, and 'Mary Queen of Scots and Darnley at Jedburgh'. Mr. Elmore was buried at Kensal Green (where lie so many of his compeers in art) in the presence of a sympathetic company who mourned not only a conspicuous artist, but also an excellent friend.

[Magazine of Art, Vol. IV, 1881.]

The will of the late Academician, Mr. Alfred Elmore, has been proved by the executors, one of whom is Mr. Frith, R.A. Mr Elmore hars left a personal estate valued at 80,000 pounds; and this fortune is inherited by his only daughter, Miss Edith Elmore, whose paintings of flowers are familiar to the frequenters of the Dudley and other galleries.