Search billions of records on

Artwork by Henry Stanier

Christopher Wood's Dictionary of Victorian Painters

Henry Stanier
Genre and flower painter. Lived in Birmingham, but was for a time Vice-Consul in Granada, Spain. Exhibited at Society of British Artists 1860-64. Painted historical genre, flowers and Spanish views. "A bird's nest, with bluebells and may blossom" sold at Christie's 6 May 1970 for £105

Illustrated Catalogue (with Descriptive Notes) of the Permanent Collection
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Henry Stanier was an artist ot one time well-known in Birmingham. When a young man he was a constant contributor to local exhibitions, and shoed much promise, especially in architectural subjects and still life, from his facility of free and “dashing” drawing, and a decided feeling for colour. Towards the end of his life, partly on account of his health, he took up his residence at Granada, in Spain, and at a later period was appointed English Consul for that city and district. The famous Moorish palace of the Alhambra, the chief glory of Granada, was the object of his special solicitude. He studied it lovingly and carefully in every detail, sketched and painted it under all aspects, and occasionally sent home drawings of it which showed power, and were greatly appreciated. He died in 1892.

Water-colour drawing, 2ft. 5¼ in., high by 1 ft. 8¾ in. wide.
Bequeathed by Dr Schofield
Water-colour drawing, 1ft. 4½ in., high by 2 ft. 3 in. wide.
Bequeathed by Dr Schofield

Works Exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists, 1824-1893

Assurance Buildings, Moor Street, Birmingham

The love bird. £20 (71)
The cavalier. £10 (210)
The gleaner. £10 (313)
241 Bristol Street, Birmingham
A cavalier. £5 (364)
A ticklish subject. £10 (670)
Flowers. £5 (943)
The language of flowers. £10 (431)
The lost bouquet. £5 (467)
A Welsh interior. (wc) £8 (770)
A cottage and mill - Betws-y-coed. (wc) £10 (891)
Dessert. £5 (152)
A Turkish divan £5 (479)

Pintores románticos ingleses en la España del XIX

( English romantic painters in Spain in the 19th Century )

Henry Stanier (active between 1854 and 1886)

Genre and flower painter (oils and watercolour), Stanier was born in Birmingham, and for some time held the position of vice-consul in Granada. Later he exhibited at Suffolk Street (1860-1864) 12 spanish scenes. He also exhibited 2 other works at other galleries. His work is represented in York Museum.

During his stay in Spain, Stanier painted:


His picture "The Colossi of Memnon, South of the Valley of the Kings at Sunset: The Pyramids from across the Nile in Moonlight" was included in an auction of Fine 18th, 19th and 20th Century European paintings and works of Islamic interest at Sotherby's on 19 April 1978.


Scene of Granada

Image size 70cm × 51.5cm.

Dawn, Alhambra, Granada

An Oasis

Painted in 1866, and said to be one of a pair,
the other having at one time been on display in Wolverhampton Museum.


Watercolor on paper.
Image size is 19¾ × 12¼ inches, Full size is 22 × 12 inches.
Signed, titled and dated 1892 lower right

Sold for $2750 on eBay in May 2004.

above Signature

below Detail

Boy with Two Horses

Image size 74cm × 112cm.
Sold for 390 Euro on eBay in 2005.

The Writer

Image size 91cm × 71cm.

Alhambra from San Nicolas

In the Harem

A View of Granada

An exhibition including his work

On 21 February 2107, published an article by Maev Kennedy about an exhibition at the British Museum of paintings by British watercolourists, including Henry Stanier.

A 19th-century view of the Egyptian temple complex of Karnak is to go on display at the British Museum for the first time this week — more than half a century after it was acquired.

The long-awaited public showing comes 113 or so years after the death of the artist, about whom little is known.

“We now know as much as anyone alive about Henry Stanier — which is practically nothing,” said Kim Sloan, curator of the exhibition on British watercolour landscapes.

Details of his birth, death and family life are unknown, and how he managed to get to Egypt in the 1860s remains a mystery. His reputation has retreated so far into the mist that one recent auction catalogue listed a painting by him as by a “British (?) artist”.

Sloan, curator of the British section of the museum's enormous prints and drawings collection, discovered three paintings by Stanier, an artist she had never heard of. They appear to have been stashed away in the 1950s without ever being recorded in the museum's collection.

She discovered little more: his work is in regional collections, including Birmingham, Sheffield and York, but almost none is on display; he won a fourth prize for painting at his Birmingham art college in 1848, when Sloan guesses he would have been 18 or 19. He moved to Granada in Spain for his health, where he obsessively drew and painted the Alhambra palace, became the British vice-consul. He died — presumably still in Spain — in either January 1894 or possibly late the previous year.

Even the Birmingham Daily Post, which kept up intermittent contact, feared readers might have forgotten Stanier. On 27 January 1894 it reported the death of an artist “formerly well known in Birmingham. At one time Mr Stanier, when a young man, was a constant contributor to our local exhibitions and showed much promise.”

Stanier occasionally sent vivid dispatches from Granada, including an account of an earthquake on Christmas Day in 1884, appealing for funds to help “the awful misery of these poor people without shelter, and dying from wounds and cold. What were once flourishing towns and happy villages are now heaps of ruins, and the inhabitants who have escaped are reduced to beggary.”

He also sent a report of a fire in his beloved Alhambra, “which made one feel certain that some criminal hand had been the cause of it”. Fortunately it broke out in one of the fountain courts where there was a plentiful water supply, and the main building was saved.

His lovely view of Karnak, the largest and finest of his three Egyptian scenes, will now take its place beside works by some of the most famous watercolourists.

Sloan thinks it must have been part of an album of views sketched on the spot and then worked up in his studio, sold to middle-class clients who wanted showy paintings for their walls but could not quite afford large oil paintings. She has no idea who donated it to the museum or when.

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

topReturn to Front Page Timeline Gazetteer of places mentioned Notes © Alan M Stanier (contact details)