Callum by John Emms hand-knitted decoration

6 x 6 x 2.5 cm

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Hand-knitted decoration of Callum by John Emms, from the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. This decoration has been designed and made exclusively by Just Trade for the National Galleries of Scotland.

Callum was a Dandie Dinmont terrier owned by Mr James Cowan Smith who bequeathed £55,000 to the National Gallery of Scotland in 1919. This enormous amount formed an important trust fund for acquisitions. His bequest had two conditions: the first that the Gallery provided for his dog Fury, who survived him; the second that Emms’ picture of his previous dog Callum should always be hung in the Gallery. Both conditions were fulfilled, and although Fury is long since dead, Callum still hangs in the Gallery in memory of his owner.

John Emms (1844 – 1 November 1912) was born in Norfolk, son of the amateur artist Henry William Emms. He went to London and became a studio assistant to Frederic, Lord Leighton. Emms helped Leighton paint the fresco of The Ten Virgins at Lyndhurst Parish Church in Hampshire, and later moved to Lyndhurst himself. He was drawn to the New Forest as he was a keen huntsman. From 1866 onwards, Emms was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy. His main subjects were dogs and horses, and his work displays considerable precision and talent. He was admired for the vitality of his animals and was in demand across the country as an animal portraitist.

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