ARTISTH. J. Stannard

Henry John Sylvester Stannard (1870 – 1951)

Stannard is a painter of landscapes and particularly Victorian cottage and rustic scenes.

These later 30s watercolours are of particular interest as they show more modern influences, perhaps by the Seven and Five Society, an art group of 7 painters and 5 sculptors formed in the 1920s and based in London. Its members developed an art that was  modern and returned to traditional motifs such as landscapes and boatyard.

Born in 1870, Henry John Sylvester Stannard came into a family of artists. He was the son of Henry Stannard, RBA a sporting painter; the grandson of John Stannard (British, 1794-1882); the brother of the Alexander Stannard (British, 1878-1975), Emily Stannard III (British, 1875-1907) and Lillian Stannard, Mrs Silas; and the father of Theresa Stannard, Mrs Dyer. Although the whole family’s work is highly regarded and collectable, Henry John Sylvester’s is the most acclaimed. 

Stannard was educated at Bedford Modern School and the National Art Training School in South Kensington, London. Thereafter he gained a reputation for painting landscapes in particular, cottage and rustic scenes. 

From 1894 H.J.S. spent most of his life in Flitwick, Bedfordshire. He joined many art societies and was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1896. His international career flourished after he received interest and patronage from the British Royal Family, painting many pictures of the royal estate at Sandringham, Norfolk, and receiving personal commissions from the Royal Family. 

Stannard’s watercolours of picturesque rustic scenes are painted in his unmistakable style and they enjoy broad acclaim. Very few artists can match his delicate touch and soft coloured palette and he possessed equal skill at placing images of children and small animals in appealing and charming situations.

He exhibited widely, including showing 35 works at the Royal Academy and 70 works at the Royal Society of British Artists, as well as the Royal Institute, Royal Cambrian Academy, Royal Hibernian Academy, and in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. 

 He founded the Harpur Art Society in Bedford in 1895 after the street in which he lived and the Midland Sketch Club in 1939 and supported local art exhibitions, including the Bedford Society of Artists. He also undertook a great deal of charity work. He last exhibited publicly in 1950 and died in Bedford in 1951.