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Elsley was born in London on November 20, 1860 and was the son of John and Emily Elsley. Elsley was known mainly for his sentimental pictures of children and dogs usually in domestic settings and their popularity found them much in demand for advertisements. Arthurís earliest known work was a portrait sketch of a little dog, entitled Vic (1871). At the age of 14 he entered the South Kensington School of Art. In 1876 at the young age of sixteen, Elsley became a probationer at the Royal Academy School and only two years later exhibited his first painting of a pony.



His father died that same year and Arthur, the eldest son, took over as head of his family. Arthur ended up marrying Emily Fusedale (his second cousin). Their wedding took place on November 11th at St. Thomasís Parish Church and they rented a home in St. Johnís Wood. Arthur and Emma had one child, Marjorie. The birth of his daughter saw the beginning of a highly successful period of children and animal paintings, many featuring Marjorie.













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