Oil Painting, Att to William Shayer, Seascape with Cart Horses.
Oil painting with Horses, Cart and boats in Seascape, attributed to William Joseph Shayer.
Signed W. Shayer on the Fence post.
Framed size: 35" High x 43" wide x 4" Deep.
Shayer was a competent landscape artist, but he is best known as a figure painter. His work is reminiscent in some respects to the paintings of George Morland, another very popular figure painter. Shayer's work though has a depth and brightness to it missing from the paintings of many of his contemporaries, due to his skillful application of glaze (i.e., spreading a thin, oily, transparent layer of paint over a dry opaque paint). He exhibited at the Royal Academy (6 works), the British Institution (82 works), and at the Suffolk Street Gallery of the Society of British Artists (338 works). He also exhibited in many of the lesser-known Victorian art venues as well. His works are on display at many museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Glasgow Art Gallery, and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Shayer lived a long life, during which he had two wives and ten children. His eldest son, William Joseph Shayer, junior (1811-1892), was also a painter, and painted in a style very similar to his father. Their paintings are easily confused, which is made all the more difficult by the fact that they probably collaborated on several paintings in the elder Shayer's later years. Three of Shayer senior's younger sons – Edward Dasherwood Shayer (1821-1864), Henry Thring Shayer (1825-1894) and Charles Walker Shayer (1826-1914) – became painters at well, and all assisted him at times in his studio. William Shayer, senior died at the age of 92 on 21 December 1879 at his home at Bladon Lodge near Southampton