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The portrait is likely to be of Mr John Mavor, who lived in North Shields and was a teacher in a Presbyterian school. The same person, as an older man, is also the subject of another painting in the Collection by a different artist; the fact that two portraits of him were done suggests he was a figure of some significance locally.
He lived for some years in John Street in Cullercoats, and was regarded as the 'patriarch' of the village, based on his ability to get on with everyone: 'Mr Emmerson was perfectly at home in the drawing room of the great, the parlour of the middlemen, and the cottage kitchen of the humble. Utterly incapable of frigid formalities, he beamed as heartily in the company of a peasant or fisherman as in that of a lord.' Shortly before his death he was presented with a silver spectacles case by 'the fisherfolk and his friends of Cullercoats' at a party in his honour.
oil on canvas
H 259 x W 183 cm