Charles Johnson Payne (1884-1967)
Born at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, he was the fourth of a bootmaker’s eight children and from his youth developed a passion for all things military. He tried to enlist in the army to fight in the Boer war, but was rejected on the grounds that he was too young. Eventually, he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery at the age of 18 as a gunner but in 1906 he was forced to leave because of illness. However, his time in the army was influential, as his first recorded works of semi-caricature portrait date from this time. His passion for hunting began at about this time in the Aldershot region.
Invalided out of World War One, Payne took a job as a war artist for The Graphic and it was during these years that he produced some of his finest military work. After the war his work became more varied, although he still often contributed to The Sporting & Dramatic News. In 1912, Payne moved to Oakham, Rutland . His hunting in the Shires inspired his most famous print “The finest view in Europe ”.
It was as a sporting artist that "Snaffles" built his reputation and, after the War, he worked on the hunting, shooting, polo, racing and fishing subjects which made his name.
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