Stanley Royle (1888 – 1961) was born in Stalybridge near Manchester in 1888. His family moved to Ecclesfield near Sheffield when he was four years old. He began studying at the Sheffield Technical School of Art in 1904 after which he worked as an illustrator and designer for the local newspapers. He began exhibiting professionally and in 1913 he had three paintings accepted by the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Royle married Lily Goulding in 1914 and she featured in a number of his paintings such as Morning on the Derbyshire Moors. Their daughter Jean was born in 1915.
Royle suffered from Bright’s Disease which prevented him from joining the forces in the First World War. In 1916 the family moved to the Mayfields Valley, on the edge of the Derbyshire moors and Royle continued to paint and exhibit. He had nine works featured in the annual exhibition of the Sheffield Society of Artists in 1919 and by 1920 Royle had been elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and was teaching part time at the Sheffield School of Art.
Royle was a passionate landscape painter and was particularly interested in painting outdoors painting. Living in the rural outskirts of Sheffield didn’t prevent him from undertaking ambitious canvasses. He would often cycle to his chosen viewpoint with his canvas and painting equipment strapped to the side of his bike.
In 1922 Royle received a major commission from local art dealer Frederick Horner to paint four views of Sheffield. These iconic views depict Sheffield from four different perspectives, reflecting both the industrial and the rural aspects of the changing city. Royle’s success as a painter made it possible for the family to move to a newly built house in Ecclesall in 1925. Royle co-founded the Sheffield Print Club in 1930 but due to a lack of sales it disbanded after just a couple of years.
The following years were financially hard as the depression made it almost impossible for Royle to make a living in Britain. The family emigrated to Canada in December 1931. Royle initially taught at the Nova Scotia School of Art, however he quickly moved to Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, where he stayed until returning to Britain in 1945. During his time in Canada Royle produced dynamic paintings of the Rocky Mountains and Canadian seascapes. Throughout his time in Canada Royle frequently returned to Britain during the summer holidays.
On his return Royle settled in Nottinghamshire. He bought a motorbike which enabled him to travel round the countryside and paint many views of the local area. Royle’s career continued to flourish with regular exhibits at the Royal Academy. He was elected president of the Sheffield Society of Artists in 1950 and was awarded the Silver and Gold Medals at the Paris Salon in 1951 and 1955. Royle spent the summer of 1960 on holiday in Cornwall and his paintings of Mevagissey are believed to his the last works he completed before his death in March 1961.