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Stanley Royle
(1888 — 1961)

Stanley Royle was a post-Impressionist painter and illustrator who was born in Lancashire but lived most of his life in Sheffield and Canada. He was encouraged to pursue a career in art by his uncle, the successful landscape painter Herbert Royle. Growing up in Ecclesfield, just outside of Sheffield, he attended the Sheffield Technical School of Art from 1904 until 1910. He gained work as an illustrator and designer for a local newspaper and, in 1911, started exhibiting professionally. Two years later he had two paintings accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. His first painting to be exhibited by the Royal Academy was in 1915 and he continued to exhibit there until 1950. In 1918 he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists and by 1920 he had become a full member and he was teaching part time at the Sheffield School of Art. His first major commission occurred two years later when the art dealer Frederick Horner commissioned him to paint four largescale views of Sheffield, one of which was included in the Tate Modern’s exhibition, A Picture of Britain. He resigned from the RBA in 1925 and was elected an associate of the Royal West of England Academy.


In 1931 Royle emigrated to Canada with his wife and daughter to take up a teaching post at the Nova Scotia School of Art. He worked there until 1934 when he briefly returned to Sheffield, accepting a professorial post at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada the following year. During his time in Canada he painted dramatic coastal scenes, seascapes and landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. He was elected an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Fine Arts in 1936, becoming a member in 1942. He returned to England three years later, settling in Nottinghamshire. He continued to exhibit with the Royal Academy and he became president of the Sheffield Society of Arts in 1950. The following year the Paris Salon awarded him the Silver Medal and he won the Gold Medal five years later. In 1962, the year following his death, the Graves Art Gallery held a major retrospective of his work.


Royle’s landscape paintings are particularly noted for the quality of natural light captured in them. He was particularly interested in painting the sky, and often depicts a low horizon and atmospheric sky, as well as snow scenes. His landscapes reflect his various travels around Sheffield, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Canada. He also regularly painted female figures but these were usually secondary to the landscape in which they featured. He is represented in the collections of Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust, the Derby Art Gallery, the Glasgow Museum and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.