William Shayer

William Shayer


William Shayer was a landscape and animal painter. A self-taught artist, he lived in Southampton, and painted mostly in Hampshire and the New Forest. His work falls into two distinct categories; firstly, wooded scenes with gypsies, rustic figures and animals, and secondly, beach or coastal scenes with boats and fisherfolk. His landscape paintings admirably present an image and spirit of rural life in Southern England.

Shayer first earned his living in Southampton painting decorations on rush bottom chairs. He then moved to Guildford to work as a coach painter. The skill Shayer acquired in the lesser genres provided him with a thorough technical grounding that proved of use to him in his chosen profession of landscape artist. His career was helped considerably by the patronage of Michael Hoy, a popular and wealthy Southampton merchant, who owned extensive estates. Shayer reputedly chose to live in Shirley because of the beautiful skies that are typical of that locality. His love of the countryside of the South Coast, which prevented his move to London, is clearly evident in his paintings. He sometimes collaborated with Edward Charles Williams. His son, William J Shayer, was also a painter. Shayer was a remarkably prolific exhibitor. He exhibited two hundred and forty-six paintings in the major London galleries, three hundred and thirty-eight at the Society of British artists, six at the Royal Academy and eighty-two at the British Institution.



 Haworth Art Gallery, Lancashire,

Arundel Castle, West Sussex,
Bristol City Art Gallery,
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge,
Cheltenham Art Gallery,
Doncaster Museum And Art Gallery
Glasgow City Art Gallery,
Hastings Museum,
Huddersfield Art Gallery,
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull,
Leeds City Art Gallery,
Leicestershire Art Gallery,
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool,
Guildhall Art Gallery,
Tate Gallery
Victoria And Albert Museum,
Manchester City Art Gallery
Laing Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Nottingham Castle Museum,
Perth Museum,
Mappin Gallery, Sheffield,
Southampton City Art Gallery And Museum,
Sunderland Museum And Art Gallery,
Walsall Museum And Art Gallery,
Wolverhampton Central Art Gallery
York City Art Gallery.