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Edward Christian Quayle

Epithet: Artist (1872-1946)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: Edward Christian Quayle was the son of Edward Quayle, a Douglas cabinet maker who had moved to Liverpool to work on the Wavertree Town Hall.

E.C. Quayle trained at the Liverpool School of Art and gained a scholarship in 1891 to study at the South Kensington School of Art and the Slade School in London. He continued to visit the Island on painting trips and exhibited regularly at the Isle of Man Fine Arts and Industrial Guild exhibitions from 1893. In Liverpool Quayle met and married his wife, an assistant at a local artists’ supply shop. He later moved his family to the Isle of Man and set up a studio on Prospect Hill, Douglas.

He referred to many of his own works as ‘potboilers’; up to four being produced in a day. They were sold in the local public houses and markets to provide an income to support his family. A greater appreciation of his work was shown by others and in 1921 and 1922, an exhibition of 140 of his works was held at the Villa Marina, Douglas followed by exhibitions in Liverpool, Manchester and London.

Quayle was part of a thriving artistic community on the Island in the early 20th century and would meet with fellow artists such as Archibald Knox, Peter Chisholm and Frederick Leach. He would also go out on painting trips with John Holland and James Butterworth. His artistic skills were passed onto the next generation of artists when he started a School of Drawing and Painting and then later in the mid 1930s with the Isle of Man Art Club.

During his artistic training in London, Quayle excelled in watercolour, monochrome, oils and pastels.

The Manx landscape and coast provided the main subject matter for Quayle’s work. He would travel for miles around the Island by foot or train and would even hire a pony and trap to go on painting expeditions with other artists. One of his most popular scenes was the Red Pier at the end of Douglas Harbour.

As well as his commercial ‘potboilers’ Quayle was highly sought after to produce seascapes for the boardrooms of shipping companies. A set of twenty seascapes was painted as panels for the smoke room and dining saloon of a South American liner.

Quayle’s motto for his artwork was ‘As you see it – paint it’ and as a result, his work provides a fascinating record of what the Island looked like at the turn of the 19th century.

Occupation / profession: artist

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 1872

Place of birth: Birkenhead, England

Date of death: 1946

Place of death: Douglas, Isle of Man


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