Artist's Biography & Works For Sale


Charles Spencelayh was born on October 27 1865 in Rochester Kent to Henry Spencelayh, an engineer and iron and brass founder. He began his artistic training at The Royal College of Art, formerly known as the National Art Training School in South Kensington and later, further studies followed at the Royal Academy, where he began exhibiting his work from 1912 until his death in 1958.  Spencelayh also exhibited at the Paris Salon.

In his own life time Spencelayh achieved great acclaim as a miniaturist, watercolorist and even an etcher although it is was his much loved rendering of domestic interiors in meticulous detail using oil and brush that were his tour de force. Much in demand throughout his career, these images, now synonymous with Spencelayh, join a select group of artists’ work that often transcends the current apathy for this genre of painting.

Spencelayh was a founding member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, an honorary member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and Vice-president of the British Water Colour Society

The author, Aubrey Noakes, gives a very detailed and informative account of the life and times of Charles Spencelayh in his book simply called ‘Spencelayh’ published in 1976. In his opening words he says ‘Charles Spencelayh stands among the most important artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries’. The book also provides two compiled appendices of the work by Spencelayh that was exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1892 -1958 and The Royal Society of Miniature Painters from 1896-1955. Amongst the most famous works exhibited at The Royal Academy are ‘The Old Dealer, from 1925 and ‘Why War’ from 1939.

The work of Spencelayh is represented in several museums including Bradford City Art Gallery, the Tate Gallery in London, the Manchester City Art Gallery and the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston.

The top price paid for a Spencelayh painting, known as ‘The Old Dealer’ is £345,000 at Sotheby’s, London in December 2009.

We also wish to purchase original works by Charles Spencelayh, if you have one to sell please contact us.