Charles Joseph Staniland, RI ROI (1838-1916)
Like Hubert von Herkomer, Charles Joseph Staniland was one of the leading Social Realist illustrators of the late Victorian period. Particularly associated with their work for The Graphic, they inspired Vincent Van Gogh.
Charles Joseph Staniland was born in Kingston-upon-Hull on 19 June 1838, the son of a merchant. He studied at the Birmingham School of Art, under D W Raimbach, and in London at Heatherley’s (Newman Street, Fitzrovia), the National Art Training School (South Kensington) and finally, in 1861, at the Royal Academy Schools. By that time, he was living in St John’s Wood.
As a painter in oil and watercolour, Staniland began to exhibit in the early 1860s, both in London, where he showed mainly at the Institute of Painters in Water Colours, and in the provinces. He was elected an associate of the Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1875, and full member in 1879, also becoming a member of the Institute of Painters in Oil Colours in 1883. (He resigned from the RI in 1890 and the ROI in 1896). While specialising in genre, marines and historical subjects, he also painted portraits and produced watercolours of still life and bird subjects.
At the same time, Staniland developed a prolific and successful career as an illustrator. Contributing to numerous periodicals, he became a staff member of The Illustrated London News, and later of The Graphic; his Social Realist images for the latter, including those of mining, were much admired by Vincent Van Gogh. Increasingly, he also illustrated books, especially popular adventure stories by such authors as George Manville Fenn and George Alfred Henty.
Through most of his career, Staniland lived in London, including Haverstock Hill between 1881 and 1893. He then moved to Chingford, Essex, living there until at least 1906, though it is recorded that he died in London a decade later.