Saturday, February 7, 2015

Charles Spencelayh

A Japanese Beauty
oil on canvas
76.2 x 50.8 cm
Private collection

Charles Spencelayh (1865-1958) was an English painter of figure subjects, genre scenes and portraits in the Academic style. He specialized in anecdotal domestic scenes in the tradition of Victorian genre painting, most typically showing old codgers pottering around in junk shops or other cluttered interiors.

He was born in Rochester in Kent, as a son of an engineer, and first studied at the National Art Training School, South Kensington. He continued his training in Paris where he exhibited at the Paris Salon, but he  exhibited predominantly in Britain. He worked in many media achieving great acclaim as a miniaturist, watercolorist and etcher.

His work hung in many of the leading London venues including the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Critics generally regarded his work as trivial and outmoded, but he was admired and supported by several influential collectors, among them Queen Mary. He was a founder member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters.