Great Outdoors,Graves Gallery
This show features Stanley Royle, one of the most popular Sheffield painters of the 20th century.
Stanley Royle’s granddaughter, Lucy Copleston, gives a personal insight into one painting on display.
“In 1919 my grandfather, with his wife and young daughter, had moved to live in a cottage at Priest Hill Farm in the Mayfield Valley near Sheffield. Their cottage, which is no longer in existence, would have been just a 10-minute walk from Carr Bridge which is on the lane called Wood Cliffe on the edge of Whiteley Woods.
“In this exhibition there is a painting entitled Whitely Woods in Snow. It is a 12” x 16” oil sketch painted around 1920 depicting snowy woods by a stream in the fading light of a winter afternoon, with a subtly suggested bridge just visible beyond the trees.
“This painting is a good example of how Stanley Royle approached his subject: there is an immediacy and freshness in the technique. Nothing is laboured.
“He was intent on catching the mysterious quality of the transient winter twilight and to do that he had to work quickly. It all feels so cold and yet – enticing. Most people would be by their firesides on a day and a time like this. But my grandfather particularly liked to paint snow scenes.
“Cold weather did not deter him. My Mother described how he kitted himself out with all the appropriate gear for cold weather work, including “knee breeches and knee length lace up boots(warmer than wellingtons!)” and thought nothing of planting his feet in the middle of an icy cold stream to get the right view of his subject. I wonder if he did that when he painted this sketch?”