‘Where Can It Be?’
Oil on Panel 16″ x 12″
Exhibited RA 1895
John Arthur Lomax RBA
Born in Manchester in 1857, John Arthur Lomax was a painter of historical genre, with a dramatic or humorous theme. He studied at the Munich Academy, which was a big influence on his work. The Munich painters of the nineteenth century were renowned for their carefully selected subjects, meticulous detail and fine brushwork quality.
Where Can It Be? Is a superb example of John Arthur Lomax’s work – it’s typically an eighteenth subject, with the elderly barrister, wig in hand, puzzling where he has put an important document. The scene is one of humour, with the white haired man, spectacles on his forehead, stoking his chin in front of the disorganised bureau bookcase. There are papers strewn on the fall of the bureau and on the bookcase shelf, and only the viewer can see that the missing document is poking out of the pocket of his scarlet frockcoat! One wonders how long it will take the perplexed barrister to realise that the document has been in his pocket all along. He looks a kindly gentleman, possibly a bachelor or a widower and obviously need of a woman to organise him!
After completing his studies and working with fellow artists in Munich, John Arthur Lomax returned to England and worked in his home city of Manchester and also in London, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Suffolk Street Galleries and he was elected RBA. This fine painting – Where Can It Be? was rightly selected for exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1895.
The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool has six of John Arthur Lomax’s paintings.