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Joseph Stannard

Joseph Stannard
Portrait of Joseph Stannard.jpg
Born(1797-09-13)13 September 1797
Died7 December 1830(1830-12-07) (aged 33)
Known forLandscape painting
MovementNorwich School of painters

Joseph Stannard (13 September 1797 – 7 December 1830) was an English marine and landscape painter and etcher. He was a talented and prominent member of the Norwich School of painters.

After attending Norwich Grammar School his parents paid for him to be trained as an artist by Robert Ladbrooke, one of the founding members of the Norwich Society of Artists. During Stannard’s working life as an artist he exhibited in both Norwich and London, with some success. In 1816 he seceded from the Norwich Society of Artists to join a rival society in the city, which lasted a few years. As an painter he was influenced by the work of earlier Dutch masters, whose works he studied and copied following a visit to Holland in 1821. His own most important work is Thorpe Water Frolic, Afternoon, which was first exhibited in 1825. In 1827 a collection of his etchings were published in a volume entitled Norfolk Etchings.

In 1826 he married the artist Emily Coppin. Their daughter Emily Stannard and several other members of his family were also talented artists.

He suffered from poor health during most of his short life and died in 1830, from tuberculosis.


Joseph Stannard as a Youth (c.1816) by Robert Ladbrooke (Norfolk Museums Service)
Joseph and Emily Stannard's home in Norwich
The grave of Joseph Stannard, buried together with his daughter and sister

Joseph Stannard was born in Norwich in Norfolk on 13 September 1797, the son of Abraham Stannard and Mary Bell, and was baptised by his parents later that week, on 17 September, at St Michael-at-Plea, Norwich.[1][2] He attended Norwich Grammar School as a boy, and his early artistic talents encouraged his parents to ask the prominent landscape artist John Crome to take on their son as a pupil. When Crome's fees proved to be to high for the Stannards to afford, they paid instead for another local man, Robert Ladbrooke, to apprentice their son.[3] One of Stannard's paintings was exhibited at the Norwich Society of Artists as early as 1811 (when he was a boy of 14), and there was a positive review of his work in The Norwich Mercury in August 1818, when Stannard was a young man of twenty-one.

In 1826 Stannard married his fellow artist Emily Coppin. Emily Coppin Stannard was a notable painter of fruit, flowers and still-life, receiving three gold medals from the Norwich Society of Arts and continued to paint for fifty years after her husband's death.[4] Their daughter Emily Stannard was also an artist, as were his brother Alfred Stannard (1806–89) and their niece Eloise Harriet Stannard (1829–1915).

Stannard contracted tuberculosis and suffered from poor health for much of his later life. Friends and relatives rallied to support him to recuperate at the sea-side resort of Great Yarmouth, where he painted Yarmouth Beach and Jetty.

He was an excellent oarsman and a skilled ice-skater. His portraits were painted by William Beechey, George Clint and Robert Ladbrooke.

Joseph Stannard died from tuberculosis in 1830, aged 33.[2] There is a memorial stone to Joseph Stannard, his infant daughter and his sister Eloise in the church of St John Maddermarket, Norwich.

Artistic career

Thorpe Water Frolic, Afternoon, Norfolk Museums Collections
Detail from Thorpe Water Frolic, Afternoon, showing Joseph Stannard shielding his eyes.

According to the author Josephine Walpole, Joseph Stannard was one of the most important members of the Norwich School of Artists.[5]

In 1816, Stannard was one of several artists that included his old master Robert Ladbrooke and his sons, James Sillett and John Thirtle, who seceded from the Norwich Society of Artists to form their own society.[6] Led by Ladbrooke, seven members of the Norwich Society opened an exhibition entitled 'The Twelfth of the Norfolk and Norwich Society of Artists', which was held in the Shakespeare Tavern, on Theatre Plain.[7]

Stannard made connections with Norwich's Theatre Royale 1819-20 and his work was included a Scene in a Norwich Ale-house, which depicted several well-known colourful characters living in the city at that time. In 1819 he exhibited in London.

He painted chiefly river and coastal landscapes, influenced by the work of earlier Dutch artists, whose works he studied and copied during a visit to Holland in 1821.[2] The following year he exhibited The Ferry, from a celebrated picture of Berchem in the Musee des Tableaux, Amsterdam. This visit to the Netherlands contributed to him developing a new oil technique and deepening his interest in marine subjects.

Between 1820 and 1829, Stannard exhibited works at the Royal Academy and the British Institution in London, but by 1823 he was suffering financially, a situation that was alleviated temporarily by the patronage of the Norwich manufacturer and entrepreneur John Harvey, who commissioned Stannard to paint his masterwork, Thorpe Water Frolic, Afternoon. First exhibited in 1825, the painting is a large oil-on-canvas work (108 x 172 cm) which depicts a civic regatta attended by almost 20,000 spectators (at a time when the population of Norwich was approximately 50,000). The Frolic was organised by John Harvey, who aspired to promote the city as an international port.

In 1827 a collection of his etchings were published in a volume entitled Norfolk Etchings.[8]

Unusually, as he was not a teacher and usually had no pupils, Stannard taught his friend Edward Thomas Daniell in his studio after the affluent young man graduated from Oxford University in 1828.[9]


  1. ^ Joseph Stannard in "Parish register transcripts", FamilySearch (Joseph Stannard).
  2. ^ a b c Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Stannard, Joseph" . Dictionary of National Biography. 54. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 85.
  3. ^ Walpole, Art and Artists of the Norwich School, p.53.
  4. ^ Gray, Dictionary of British Women Artists, p.249.
  5. ^ Walpole, Art and Artists of the Norwich School, p.53.
  6. ^ Walpole, Art and Artists of the Norwich School, p.25-6.
  7. ^ Dickes, The Norwich School of Painting, p.103
  8. ^ Cundall, The Norwich School, p.31
  9. ^ Walpole, Art and Artists of the Norfolk School, p.157.


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