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John Roddam Spencer Stanhope
1828 - 1908

Painted four angels on the organ case

Angel 1

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope 1829 - 1908

Spencer Stanhope was the second son of Yorkshire landed gentry, he was educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1850 he studied in London with G. F. Watts, through whom he entered the artistic circle at Little Holland House, where he met D. G. Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.

Stanhope's close friendship with Burne-Jones proved a more decisive influence on his work that, in the 1860s, consisted of dreamlike poetic and mythological subjects often set in quaint, enclosed spaces, as in I Have Trod the Winepress Alone (c. 1864; London, Tate).

Stanhope married in 1859 and moved to Sandroyd, a house near Cobham, Surrey, designed for him by Philip Webb in 1860, but because of severe asthma he wintered abroad from 1865 and in 1880 moved permanently to the Villa Nuti, Bellosguardo, near Florence.

Deeply influenced by Italian art, he had his frames made in gilt gesso by Florentine craftsmen and was one of the first British artists to revive tempera painting, adopting it at least as early as 1877 in Eve Tempted. His later work, marked by strong, frieze-like compositions of Quattrocento-style figures painted in glowing colours, is exemplified in the 12 frescoed panels of ministrations of angels (1872–9; reworked 1880s) at Marlborough College Chapel, Wilts, painted at the suggestion of the architect G. F. Bodley, with whom he was also associated at the Anglican Church, Florence.

(Members of the Pre-Raphaelite group, and their extended circle of architects
and designers, often worked together on important artistic projects. Bodley had
first made friends with members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle in 1859 and gave
William Morris his first chance of making ecclesiastical stained glass for churches
in Brighton, Selsley and Scarborough (where, too, Stanhope designed figures for
the organ case). In a similar fashion, Bodley and Stanhope collaborated at
Marlborough College Chapel where Stanhope produced twelve panels of angels in
1871.
)