Charles Spencelayh was born in Rochester in Kent on 26 October 1865,
the son of an engineer and ironfounder. He studied painting at the
South Kensington School, where he won a prize for a figure composition, and later he spent a period as an art student in Paris. He exhibited
at the Royal Academy in 1892 and was in fact still exhibiting there
until just before his death.
Spencelayh is better known for his oil paintings, however there is no
doubting his ability in the medium of watercolour. The present
watercolour is perfect example of his skill at producing fine and
detailed studies. An exhibition at James Green's Bond Street Gallery in 1957 lists no fewer than 116 works ranging in price from 30 to 5
guineas. Although referred to as drawings, Spencelayh liked to use
strong bright colouring similar to the tones of his oils.
For two other works by the artist see lots 91 and 94.