Wolstenholme, Dean (1757-1837) (DNB00)

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WOLSTENHOLME, DEAN, the elder (1757–1837), animal painter, was born in Yorkshire. Most of his early life was spent in Essex and Hertfordshire. He resided successively at Cheshunt, Turnford, and Waltham Abbey. His early life was rather that of an enthusiastic sportsman than of an artist, though he occasionally produced representations of a few sporting subjects with such success that Sir Joshua Reynolds is said to have predicted that he would be a painter in earnest before he died. In 1793 he became involved in litigation over some property at Waltham, and after three unsuccessful chancery suits was left with means so encumbered that he adopted painting as a profession.

About 1800 he came to London and settled in East Street, Red Lion Square. In 1803 he exhibited his first picture (‘Coursing’) at the Royal Academy. From this year to 1824 a long series of animal pictures from his hand appeared at the academy. After 1826 he painted little. He died in 1837 at the age of eighty, and was buried in Old St. Pancras churchyard. His son, Dean Wolstenholme [q. v.], is noticed separately.

[Sir Walter Gilbey's Animal Painters, 1900, vol. ii.; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers.]

E. C.-e.