(1835 - 1903)

John Henry Dolph is one of America's finest animal painters and he is most famous for his depictions of playful kittens and puppies that frolic on oriental rugs within Victorian interiors. Playful terrier and Kittens shows Dolph’s expertise at handling, in an academic manner, how fur, woven wool and anatomy can be painted with sureness and finesse.

Dolph studied animal painting with Van Kuyck in Antwerp and in Paris from 1868-1873. He was an associate of the National Academy in 1877 and a full member of the Academy in 1898. He was also a member of the Lotos Club; the Kit-Kat Club; and the Salmagundi Club. He exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association (1867-1886); the National Academy of Design (1864-1900); PAFA (1866-1868, still lifes of fruit, 1879-1899); Paris Salon (1882); Boston Art Club (1889-1903); Pan-American Expo, Buffalo, 1901 (bronze medal); and the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is in the PAFA collection.

Best known as a painter of cats and dogs, he was referred to as the "American Landseer." He exhibited genre scenes and Hudson River landscapes until 1874 but in 1875 his painting of a Persian cat attracted such great attention that cats and dogs became his focus. He had begun his career as a portrait painter during the 1850s in Detroit, MW, and was working in NYC by 1865.

References: G & W; Art Annual (1903), obit.; CAB; Clement and Hutton; 8 Census (1860), Mich., XX, 104; Wehle and Bolton; Bolton, Miniature Painters; Champlin and Perkins; Swan, BA; Cowdrey, NAD; Fink, American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons, 338.

Contributed by Anonymous
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