James Stroudley, “Rowing Men”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 107 x 86 cm, Private Collection
James Stroudley was a London-born painter, printmaker, and teacher. He studied at the Clapham School of Art between 1923 to 1927, followed by attendance at the Royal College of Art from 1927 to 1930. His teachers at the Royal College included English painter and draughtsman Sir William Rothenstein and English painter Allan Gwynne-Jones. As a recipient of the first Abbey Scholarship Stroudley was able to spend three years in Italy from 1930, where he absorbed the influences of Giotto and Piero della Francesca. After this period, he produced one of the last wholly satisfying decorative cycles by a Rome Scholar of the period.
From the Second World War, in which he worked with the Camouflage Unit, James Stroudley taught at St Martin’s School of Art and was a visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy Schools. He became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1934. Stroudley exhibited his works at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists, and at the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers, and Engravers.
James Stroudley’s solo shows in London were at the Apollinaire Gallery and Arthur Tooth and Sons, which had a major presence in the commercial art market since the 1870s. Though he continued to live in London, his later work, exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1955, indicated regular painting trips to Kent and Sussex coasts. Stroudley’s later work in life changed from a traditional to a more abstract form.
James Stroudley’s work was influenced by a series of styles, ranging from early Italian artists to the Cubists. Through this, he achieved the incisive draughtsmanship that forms the basis of his art. Stroudley produced figure subjects, still life compositions, landscapes and abstracts with equal success. In 1971, his former student, Peter Coker, paid homage to Stroudley by including his work in the exhibition ‘Pupil & Masters’, held at Westgate House, Long Melford, Suffolk. He died in Wandsworth, London, in May of 1985.