Henry Ryland

Henry Ryland

Biography of Henry Ryland ( 1856-1924 )

Born in Biggleswade in Bedfordshire to a family of shopkeepers, Henry Ryland started at the South Kensington School of Art in London - later the Royal College of Art, before entering Heatherley. Eager to complete his artistic training, he went to Paris and entered the studio of Benjamin-Constant and then the Julian Academy where he was successively a student of Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefèvre. The English artist perfectly combines the influences of his contemporaries and compatriots Pre-Raphaelites and Neo-Classics in his works representing women with draperies of a remarkable virtuosity.

In the 1880s, Ryland occupied one of the twenty-seven studios located in Kensington on Gilston Road called Bolton Studios. There he worked with many artists including John Godward, Theodore Roussel and George Morton. Although he also painted in oil, his favorite medium was watercolor. He specialized in neo-classical representations of women on marble terraces. This type of composition can be found in Lawrence Alma-Tadema and his studio's friend Godward.

The high quality of Ryland's work, which is full of spectacularly virtuosic detail, allowed him to exhibit at the Grosvenor Gallery and then at the Royal Academy in the 1890s. He also exhibited at the New Gallery and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, of which he became a member. Attentive to the works of his contemporaries, he immersed himself in the Pre-Raphaelite movement whose religious and mythological themes fed his inspiration.

Henry Ryland is one of the most talented designers of his generation. In addition to graphic art, he has also made stained glass windows and engravings. He illustrated "Henny-Penny", a tale published in the famous series "English Fairy Tales". His engravings were widely reproduced and published in particular in the "English Illustrated Magazine" in the 1880s and 1890s, which contributed to his fame.


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