Over the Ditch

Over the Ditch



Flourished 1838-1853
English School

Oil on board, laid on panel, signed

Despite the fact that Sally Mitchell says of John Dalby's work, "fine quality and exquisite finish" and Christopher Wood writes "...hunting scenes .... are of very good quality", remarkably little is known of his life.

The earliest record of him is in 1838 when he was living at 38 Stonegate, York, with Thomas Dalby where he is recorded as a painter. The Dalby family of painters can seem confusing. The oldest David Dalby, 1794-1836, who was a sporting artist and lived in York, always signed "D. Dalby"; John, who is believed to be his son, signed just "Dalby" or "J Dalby". In addition, there are believed to be at least two other painter members of the family: Thomas, and Joshua although the latter's rare output is so similar in style to John's that some believe them to be one and the same.

John Dalby's work is quite different from David's as he painted predominately hunting scenes. His style is very tight and detailed, almost like a miniaturist. The colour is strong and the hunting scenes are full of action and show the influence of Henry Alken. Even his carriage pictures usually have attendant riders or huntsman filling the composition as well.

The Dictionary of Victorian Painters - Christopher Wood
The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists - Sally Mitchell
Dog Painting 1840-1940 - William Secord


Height 25.4 cm / 10 "
Width 30.48 cm / 12 "

1800 - 1899


Oil on board, laid on panel