Shooting over dogs; and companion picture, a pair

Shooting over dogs; and companion picture, a pair




English School

Shooting over dogs; and companion picture, a pair 

Oil on canvas

36 x 45.7 cms

141/8 x 18 inches

Overall framed size 185/8  x 22½ inches


The son of the sporting artist, Dean Wolstenholme, he was born at Waltham Abbey, Essex in 1798 but the family moved to London when he was 2 owing to his father’s parlous financial situation.

He was instructed by his father and proved to be a diligent pupil with a keen eye for landscape. When the family returned to Essex in 1816, Charles Dean embraced the new environment but because of his urban upbringing, he was lacking in a knowledge of country ways. One dramatic consequence of this was when he approached a dray horse too close and was bitten in the face by the animal. It tore off a piece of the young man’s cheek which although it was successfully stitched back on, he was scarred for the rest of his life. 

C D Wolstenholme depicted landscapes, shooting, hunting, angling scenes, equestrian and dog and prize bird portraiture, brewery yards and dray-horses and some human portraits although these were usually as part of an equestrian composition. In addition to the formal teaching from his father, the young artist studied his subject matter intently and immersed himself in country pursuits becoming keen on shooting, hunting and fishing. Like the renowned sporting painting John Ferneley, he made many pencil studies of trees, houses and the middle and far distance in landscape. When composing a sporting work he would utilise one or more of these studies to set his figures in.

His style is similar to his father although the former’s depiction of horses is freer and his paintings are generally brighter and more alive than those of his father. Another point of difference is that Charles Dean he painted some genre scenes. He also studied engraving and became particularly adept at the process as well as hand colouring many of them himself. He invented a form of colour printing later patented by Leighton Brothers. He had painted a series of pictures of prize birds and a number were engraved life-size (14 are in the Print Room of the British Museum).  He was particularly skilled at capturing the metallic sheen of their plumage

Some of his best pictures were of brewery horses including “Black Eagle Brewery” (RA 1822);   “A View of the Hour Glass Brewery” and “Messrs. Barclay Perkins & Co’s Brewery, Park Street, Southwark” all of which he subsequently engraved. Other subject matter titles included: Mr Thomas Pounding, Master of the Essex Forest Hunt; View of Crouch Hall, Essex; Pigeon Red Pied Carrier; Angler’s catch of coarse fish; Lord Glamis and his stag hounds; Terriers ferreting rabbits and A party of Anglers fishing for pike and perch. The renowned A N Gilbey collection of angling paintings and related items contained some works by Wolstenholme.

He exhibited thirteen times at the Royal Academy from 1818-19, ten at the British Institute and ten at the Royal Society of British Artists at Suffolk Street.

For the last twenty years of his life he lived at Highgate and the surrounding countryside provided much inspiration for his work during those years. He died there on 12th April 1883 aged 84.

Museums and Institutions that hold examples of his work include: Walker Art Gallery; Government Art Collection; Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution; Brackley Town Hall; Angelsey Abbey (National Trust) and Yale Center for British Art.



Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists - Sally Mitchell

A Dictionary of British Landscape Painters - Col M H Grant

The Dictionary of Victorian Artists - Christopher Wood

Angling in British Art – Shaw Sparrow

A Dictionary of  British Sporting Painters – Sydney H Paviere

A Dictionary of British Animal Painters – J C Wood

Apollo Magazine 1946 – Guy Paget