1717 - 1796
Cock & Hen Black Grouse

Oil on canvas
Image size: 28 x 36 inches
Original gilt frame

Elmer resided at Farnham, Surrey, where he was a maltster. He turned his hand to painting, and developed a special skill for depicting still life and dead game, and was perhaps the most successful painter in this line that England has produced. From that time to 1795, the year before his death, he contributed a great number of pictures, which were very popular, and were painted in a bold, free manner, and with great truth to nature.

He did not confine himself entirely to still life, but occasionally painted genre pictures, such as “The Miser” (engraved by B Granger), “The Politician” (engraved by T Ryder), scripture pieces, such as “The Last Supper”, formerly over the altar, but now in the vestry of Farnham Church, and portraits.

 

The latter were collected, and exhibited at the great room in the Haymarket in the spring of 1799, under the title of “Elmer”s Sportsman”s Exhibition”. Some of these were disposed of for good prices, and the remainder were removed to Gerrard Street, Soho, where they were accidentally destroyed by fire on 6 February 1801.

He practised in Ireland, and occasionally exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1783 and 1799.

There is a small mezzotint portrait of him as a schoolboy, dated 26 June 1772, and engraved by Butler Clowes.

Some of his still-life pictures were engraved by J. Scott, J. F. Miller, C. Turner, and others. Elmer died and was buried at Farnham in 1790.