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Arthur J. Elsley was the most popular 'chocolate box' artist of the late Victorian and Edwardian period; over 150 of his works were reproduced as prints. Long dismissed by art historians, this genre now demands reappraisal as an important aspect of Victorian art. Its appealing qualities are extremely accessible, presenting a comfortable, idealized world of clean, smiling children that has brought pleasure to millions.

Terry Parker has interviewed Elsley's only child and principal model, whose reminiscences and anecdotes bring his work to life. Her archive of photographs of Elsley's studio and models, together with his address book, provide rare insight into the workings of this artist.

Auction houses have witnessed an astronomical rise in the popularity of Elsley's oil paintings in the last ten years: one piece sold for $220,000.00 in 1996. Modern greeting card, calendar and print companies remain eager to reproduce his images, which are still found on a wide variety of products.

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