Isle of Wright Seaweed Gatherers by William Shayer Sn. (1787-1879)
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This mid-19th C. painting depicts a small group of seaweed gatherers and their wagon on the Isle of Wright. The painting in total measures 60 in 153.7 cm wide, 48 in 124 cm high with a depth of 3 in 9.5 cm, and is signed by the artist in the lower right hand corner, and is surrounded by a very ornate carved Gilt wood frame.                                                                               Shayer was born in Southampton and after spells at Guildford and Chichester had settled permanently in his native city by 1820. He is principally known for his Hampshire landscapes and animal painting and his work is most closely associated with the New Forest, the Isle of Wight, Dorset, Sussex and Devon. His work falls into two main categories: woodland scenes, populated with gypsies, animals and cheerful rustics and coastal scenes such as this particular painting based around small boats, sea weed gatherers and fishermen and their families. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1820 and 1843, and at the British Institution. He was certainly prolific and examples of his work can be found in many provincial museums. Four of his sons are known to have worked as artists the two most successful being William Joseph Shayer (1811 - 1892) and Henry T. Shayer (1825 - 1894).