Lot 83
  • 83

Arthur John Elsley

70,000 - 100,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Arthur John Elsley
  • Friend or Foe?
  • signed ARTHUR J. ELSLEY (lower left)
  • oil on canvas


Sale: Sotheby's, London, November 6, 1995, lot 84, illustrated (as Favourite)
Haynes Fine Art, Broadway, England
Private collection (acquired from the above, and sold, Sotheby's, New York, April 24, 2009, lot 90, illustrated)
Acquired at the above sale


London, Royal Academy, 1891, no. 1156 (as Victims)


The Illustrated London News, May 23, 1891, p. 682, illustrated (a black and white drawing of the painting)
Royal Academy Notes, London, 1891, p. 134, illustrated
Royal Academy Pictures, London, 1891, p. 115
Royal Academy Sketches, London, 1891, p. 88
Terry Parker, Golden Hours: The Paintings of Arthur J. Elseley, 1860-1952, Somerset, 1998, pp. 16, 133, illustrated p. 49

Catalogue Note

The present early work by Arthur J. Elsley was displayed in the Royal Academy in 1891. Evocative of youthful frivolity and childhood bliss, Friend or Foe? is a highly skilled representation of the type of subject for which Elsley was best known. A widely popular artist in Victorian and Edwardian England, Elsley was first renowned for his depictions of canine subjects, and later, genre scenes focusing on images of childhood. His shift towards paintings of youthful play was influenced by celebrated Victorian painter Frederick Morgan, with whom he shared a studio.