Edward Christian Quayle was the son of Edward Quayle, a Douglas cabinet maker. He 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 exhibited regularly at the Isle of Man Fine Arts and Industrial Guild exhibitions from 1893 and had a studio on Prospect Hill, Douglas. 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 training in London, Quayle excelled in watercolour, monochrome, oils and pastels. Although the Manx landscape, coast and harbours provided the main subject matter for Quayle’s work, he also received many commissions for his excellent portraiture skills, an example of which is the one of his friend Archibald Knox on display at the Manx Museum. 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. As well as his commercial ‘potboilers’ sold in the local public houses and markets to provide an income to support his family, 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.
Clay Head Seascape by Edward Christian Quayle ©Manx National Heritage (1954-5951)