Stanhope, J. R. Spencer (1829-1908) by Scholes, Robert

J. R. Spencer Stanhope (1829 – 1908) From the former website: Spencer-Stanhope was one of the most important followers of Burne-Jones. He was a member of the group of artists which worked on the Oxford Union murals. His style owes a lot to Burne-Jones, yet Stanhope’s colour is stronger and less subtle, his drawing is harder and in general the softness and stillness of his master is lacking. His choice of subject-matter and interest in technique is individual. Eve Tempted (1877) is a striking and slightly unnerving interpretation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden whispering into Eve’s ear as she stands under the Tree of Knowledge, on a faux-naïf early Renaissance carpet of flowers. Stanhope was in love with the Tuscan landscape and with Florentine art, and spent the latter part of his life in Florence. His niece was the painter Evelyn De Morgan – who often travelled to stay with him in Florence In G. R. S. Taylor wrote as follows: The New Age (NA 4.21:428) The Carfax Gallery has just opened another important show: most things that happen there are important. This time it is the pictures of Spencer Stanhope; a little-known member of the old pre-Raphaelite group. Suffice it to say that at least three of the pictures shown (“My Lady of the Watergate,” “The Winepress,” and “Thoughts of the Past’) rank with the finest works of that school.

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