Portrait of Frank Spenlove-Spenlove 1904 by Arthur Hacker ARA

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove


"I look at Nature, I go home and dream of her

and I paint the dream "





A Biography and Catalogue of his Life

John Francis Spenlove - Spenlove

RCA.,  RBA., RI., ROI., RBC., FRSA, FRGS. 1868 -1933

Alias:  Frank Spenlove; 

Frank Spenlove Spenlove and J.F.Spenlove



Written and compiled by David Freeman




Portrait of Frank Spenlove-Spenlove 1904  by  Arthur Hacker ARA

©Family Hacker

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove:


Frank Spenlove-Spenlove. A demonstration lesson in the studio

^ Frank Spenlove- Spenlove in the Yellow Door Studio

Frank Spenlove Biographic:



Frank Spenlove-Spenlove was a hugely talented, prolific and dedicated British artist and a great mentor to hundreds of young artists learning to paint. He worked in both oils and watercolour.

  'Frank' John Francis Spenlove, was born in the Scottish town of Bridge of Allan, Sterlingshire, on the 24th February 1864 and died of pneumonia in Chelsea in the May of 1933. He is buried in St. Mary's Church yard, Purley on Thames in England.


 The son of Captain John Francis Spenlove-Spenlove, late of the Fife Artillery and originally from Abingdon, Berkshire. His mother was Mary Sparrow. Frank had two sisters, Susan Mary Anne born in 1861 in Merton, Surrey and Jane, born about 1862.
Frank was also the Great-Grandson of Sir Marmaduke Constable, a High Court Judge.

 In 1891, Frank Spenlove married Clara Florence Bostwick-Strong, a Canadian girl who came from a wealthy family, originally from London, Ontario. Clara had suffered deafness since contracting an infection in childhood and she and Frank had three children; Adelaide, Theodora and John Francis.He like his father, became an accomplished artist, choosing to live and work in Cornwall.

 When only a boy, Frank Spenlove and his two young sisters suddenly faced the loss of their father and Frank became the man of the household, with new and difficult challenges to face ahead.


 From a very early age, Frank Spenlove - Spenlove, not only was expected, but wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an army officer, fully intending to become a soldier.
But for Frank, this was not meant to be.

 The sudden death of his father was about to force Frank into other, more responsible shoes.



Our Mr. Spenlove and becoming a man:


 Financially, things at home were in an unhealthy state following the death of his father Captain John Francis, so at the age of seventeen Frank became the breadwinner and entered the commercial world as a mercantile clerk. After only two years he was earning a remarkably good living for such a young man. Frank had developed serious and adult aspirations and was facing excellent prospects of promotion, but things were about to change for him again!
Life, when it chooses, seemingly has a strange way of altering things forever and when least expected and it was about to turn Frank Spenlove’s world upside down.


 In his youth, Frank Spenlove was, it can be said, a privileged lad, attending private school at St. Paul's in Hammersmith, then an independent and highly select London boys school.

It was here that he became an excellent scholar, an athlete and a promising academic. Particularly so as a mathematician. This was a subject that he not only enjoyed, but excelled in.  Frank Spenlove also had a great love for art and particularly of drawing. This clearly came from his mother and certainly not from his father's side of the family.

 Frank’s biggest claim to fame 'so he said' and one that he maintained all his life, was that he was distantly related to the British artist John Constable, primarily as his great grandfather was a namesake so surely there was a family link. But whether or not that was a sign of the practical joker in Frank Spenlove the man, we will probably never know.

And something of a joker he indeed was.

 His grandson who I had the privilege to meet recently, recalls how one night at dinner, Frank had rigged up a small balloon under his plate. A contraption designed with a length of tube and finished with a rubber hand pump leading back to Frank's seat underneath the table. The joy and astonishment that came from the 'self rising' plate still remains in his memory to this day.

  Frank Spenlove is most noted as an artist for his fine atmospheric landscapes, worked in both oil paint and watercolour. Often of subjects that he painted in Suffolk and particularly on the continent in Holland, which clearly reflected in his style. He also worked extensively in Belgium and in Kent.
Though he travelled widely, often on his own, working in Italy, Spain and Tunisia in North Africa, he also visited Switzerland, Picardy and Brittany in France over a long and successful career as an artist.




Captain John Francis Spenlove Spenlove Fife Artillery

^This is a photo of taken of

Captain John Francis Spenlove-Spenlove Snr.

of the Fife Militia, Artillery Regiment,

by the late Reverend D. Cochrane at Cupar Manse,

in Scotland, in 1865.



Frank Spenlove's addresses were;


1871: Camberwell, St. Giles Camberwell, London, Surrey, England
1881 When he was 17, he is listed as a mercantile clerk and living at, 50 Oakley Crescent, Chelsea, Middlesex.
These houses are described in the History of Chelsea as small, Italianate houses in brick and stucco on the west side of Manor Street. Now long since been demolished and replaced.

1885: Studio - Shortlands Kent
1888: The Parade, Beckenham Kent

1891: The Hermitage, Croyden Road, Beckenham.

1895; Kent House, Lansdowne Road, Notting Hill. London.
1896: The Studio; 2, Stafford Place, Buckingham Gate, Westminster, London.
Less than five minutes walk to the Yellow Doors Studio in Victoria, which was set up in the same year.

1900: Studio, 28, Conduit Street. London.
In 1903 he moved to; The Corner House, 69 Addison Road, Kensington. London and latterly to;

Thames Court, Pangbourne.

1911: Studio, 1 - 16 Albert Mansions, Victoria Street, London

1915: Studio, 116 Victoria Street. London.

And finally to; 12A, Shelly Court, Tite Street, Chelsea.


 Frank Spenlove had always followed his hobby as an artist and he asked for and eventually obtained a room which he made into his first studio. A place where; “free from others eyes, I could work in a manner dear to my artistic soul”, he wrote.

It was here in his very first studio that he painted a portrait of his father, much as he remembered him in his military uniform. Sadly now this is a painting which is long lost.



A most fortunate meeting with William Powell Frith:


"The landscape painter must aim at the interpretation of Nature, rather than the representation of Nature."

F. Spenlove-Spenlove

William Powell Frith  

 Now fate makes an appearance and lends a helping hand in Frank Spenlove's career.

 One day whilst visiting Frank's mother, Mrs. Jane Ellen Panton, a writer of popular domestic and advice books and one of the daughters of the eminent British artist William Powell Frith R.A., happened to see the portrait that Frank had painted of his father and asked him for the loan of it to show the great artist.   Somewhat impressed and more likely flattered, Frank happily agreed.

 It transpired that William Powell Frith so admired the painting that the following day he wrote to his daughter;

“ It would be a pity if such a talent were to wither.”

And William Powell Frith wasn't about to let that talent disappear anywhere.


 An invitation from Frith followed, beckoning the young Frank Spenlove-Spenlove to his London studio home, Pembridge Villas, Kensington, where we are told, the great artist was; "very kind and complimentary".

The praise Frank received about the standard of his art was indeed genuine praise and coming from such a great and well admired artist, Frith urged the young Frank Spenlove-Spenlove to take a new course in life's direction and undertake a drastic career change.

  Frank tried admirably to explain to the great man about his difficult position and they discussed at length the families’ current woeful circumstances.
Frank told him that he was doing well in business and now that he had others depending upon him, he couldn't possibly alter course now. Certainly he couldn't afford a long an expensive period of training as well.
Though Frith understood the difficulties Frank faced, he pressed on with his advisory, still trying to persuade the nineteen year old to become a painter. Ending the meeting with an reassuring;

“I am sure you will do. I am sure you will do.”


 Frank Spenlove returned home from his meeting with William Powell Frith and told his mother about the conversation he had with the artist.  Not unexpectedly, anxious that he might have been swayed, she made it very plain to Frank that she didn’t want him to make a grave mistake by throwing away the near certainty of being a success in business for the dreadful 'uncertainty' of art.

 Though it was to be a difficult financial pathway that lay ahead of him, Frith’s praise had sparked a new flame of ambition in Frank Spenlove's heart and an artist he became.




St. John' Wood School of Art



The Road Ahead:


 The first step on that long and difficult road for Frank was to be a spell at the St. John’s Wood School of Art in London, founded seven years earlier. Though at the time it was more an artist's studio, nurturing fresh talent about to enter the Royal Academy Schools than it was the fully fledged art school it was to become. However, it was a fine grounding for the ambitious young artist who can be seen here in the centre of this vintage photo to the left of the statue.

Though Frank rightfully used the  designatory letters 'R.C.A.' after his name, this was applied for his affiliation to the Royal Cambrian Academy and not the Royal College of Art, as has been alluded to by some fine art commentators and would have been expected of him having trained at St. John's Wood.

  Here, practising under the Peruvian born artist, Abelardo Alvarez Calderon (1847- 1911) later to become a Royal Academician himself, Frank studied anatomy, composition and painting techniques. And to pay for his private tuition of five shillings, Frank’s evenings were taken up with coaching students who needed practical help with mathematics.

He would do whatever part time work he could find to support his mother and sister



   From Calderon's London studio, as I have already alluded to, the next stop would normally be attendance at the Royal Academy school and in his own art school's prospectus and advertising, there are implications that he may have had a Royal College of Art affiliation.
But Frank apparently didn’t study there or ever become an Associate member [ARCA] as had been suggested by others.

  Frank would now admirably take himself off, first to Holland in order to study the methods of the Netherlands painters whom he had always admired. Then on to Belgium's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and finally to Paris, where we draw a blank at which studio he attended and identify artist who tutored him.

 In 1887 Frank was rewarded for his efforts, when the Royal Academy exhibited two of his paintings which came about as a result of this tour.

First came ~ The Home of the Heron - Early morning #43,

and ~ In the Stack #742.

  Both pictures soon found buyers, which was a great relief to Frank as he was getting desperately low on finances.

  The following year he was successful again at the Royal Academy. This time with a painting called; the Farmers Daughter #849 ~1888.

Abelardo Alvarez Calderon

*But in 1889, he finally got his big break, displaying no less than seven fine paintings at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition:

Silver Morn #225 - "In the Evening, it shall be light" # 493 - In the low country - early morning #804 - L'etude #841 - Eventide after rain #921 - A Grey Morning #963 and finally; Wane of the year #1242.


Franks Royal Academy paintings appears later



Frank Spenlove the man






   A.C.R. Carter, in the 'Art Journal of June 1910, was not the first to note the influence on the young Frank Spenlove, exhibiting his 'Watchers' at the Royal Academy for the very first time.

He mentioned obvious similarities to the Dutch artist Isaac Israels. (Amsterdam 1865-1934 Den Hague) An artist that was clearly an influence on Frank which continued throughout his artistic life, as his fluidity and captivating atmospheric and dramatic style emerged.

 Frank would also be the first to tip his hat to the artistic ability of the great British artist J. M. W. Turner, who he admired enormously and whose methods he applied and adopted.

One observer writing of Frank tells us;

 "Turner, again, always worked from the slightest of sketches and rough notes and Mr. Spenlove-Spenlove thinks this undoubtedly the right method of procedure, and accordingly, in teaching landscape painting, his system is to encourage his pupils to make swift realistic studies from Nature out of doors, seizing some transitory exquisite effect, and afterwards to study the art of transforming these rough notes of a passing effect of the moment into a finished picture in the studio, both by means of individual instruction, which each one receives, on the working up of his or her own particular small sketch, and by means of his special landscape painting "demonstrations" before the assembled class."


Edward Biberman's Recollections of Frank:

 The American artist Edward Biberman (1904-86) in an interview back in 1977, recollects his meeting with Frank Spenlove Spenlove whilst he was in Cornwall holidaying. He had just painted a portrait of his daughter, which is sadly now lost.

 He said of 'Sir' Frank, who he thought was a knight of the realm, likely once again Franks sense of humour:



 "The English artist had a name which was fantastic. His name was Sir Frank Spenlove-Spenlove R.A.

Frank Spenlov looked like a Peter Arno cartoon.
He was very big, florid, [with a] great white moustache. And a charming man.

The painting of his daughter, incidentally — I don't know where it is, or what happened to it. Somewhere in my moving, that painting has been lost. It just disappeared and I have no sense of what happened to it?"
















 Frank Spenlove was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, elected in 1904;

A member of the Committee of the British art section - Liege International Exposition of 1906, where he was awarded the Diploma of Honour and a member of the City of London Truss Society for the relief of the ruptured poor !

 We are told that recreationally Frank really loved billiards and regularly held evening sessions at his central London home. He also enjoyed golf and music too and was a very 'charitable' man. 

 Frank was acutely aware of the commercial practicalities of self promotion in his life and indeed sponsorship and leant his name to both the social good of smoking it would seem and to the medicinal benefits of Sanatogen, which he specified had cured all his ills:

In so doing, Frank lent his name to newspaper advertising around the world. Appearing as here in Pall Mall Magazine and regularly in the Commonwealth press.

This advert below is from the Sydney Morning Herald back in 1912:

Mr. Frank Spenlove-Spenlove;B.I., F.R.G.S., says;

"after trying different so-called remedies I was advised to try Sanatogen.

It has worked wonders " in fact, quite overthrown the trouble."


Frank Spenlove-Spenlove Memberships and Affiliations

R.I, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
R.C.A, Royal Cambrian Academy
R.O.I., Royal Institute of Oil Painters
R.B.A., Royal Society of British Artists
FRSA., Royal Society of Arts
FRGS., Royal Geographical Society

Membre de la Societe des Artistes Francais
Member of the New gallery Society of Artists
Member Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours ( By Royal Sign - Manual )
Member Royal Institute of Oil Painters
Member Royal Society of British Artists ( By Royal Charter )
Member Royal Cambrian Academy
Member Japan Society
Member of Committee International Art Congress for the Development
of Drawing and Art Teaching 1909
Member of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society







Frank Spenlove-Spenlove and the Royal Academy


Varnishing day at the RA ~1889





 Varnishing day’ at the Royal Academy was a special event in the RA's calendar. 
Traditionally a day set aside just before the official opening of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, it was a time when artists could 'retouch' or 'varnish' their paintings, with some even completing unfinished works of art, or attending to paintings they felt needed additional features before they were hung.

 But in reality ‘Varnishing day’ had become a celebrity preview day. A time when journalists and art critics could meet and discuss the works on display, well in advance of the official opening of the exhibition to the public.

 That bright May day, Frank Spenlove-Spenlove was dutifully in attendance at the Royal Academy when he noticed a man staring at one of his works called “At Eventide, it shall be light” 

He turned to Frank and said, “do you know if the artist who painted this picture is here?”


Recollecting for the 'Otago Witness', Issue #270, 31st. January 1906 “The Otago Witness was a significant example of the illustrated weekly newspapers that were a popular and important form of publication in New Zealand in the 19th and early 20th centuries.”


Frank introduced himself to the man as the painter and received a fine compliment.

“That is a good picture, a very good picture indeed Sir.

 Obviously impressed, the great man asked Frank if he had any more works on display. With six more hanging at the exhibition for him to discuss, it was a fortunate meeting and coming from Sir John Everet Millais, the creator of ‘Bubbles’and the masterpiece ‘Ophelia’, that was a resounding compliment that had been paid to Frank Spenlove and a fine reward for all his hard work that began with all the uncertainty of a professional career in the world of art.


1889 and Frank's 'Matter of Do or Die'.

  Frank personally recalled the day he met Millais in his own words, telling the story of a strange dream he had before the Royal Academy Exhibition and of the pain he felt at the destruction of one of his favourite Royal Academy paintings, just few days before entry closed:

  “The year 1889 was a memorable one for me he writes. In the first place I had no fewer than seven works in the Royal Academy that year, and in the second place, in connection with one of those pictures, called “At Eventide, it shall be light” I had the following remarkable experience. – at least I think it may justifiably be called remarkable.

 On the Sunday night before “Sending in day”, I had a strange dream, a very bad dream. I dreamt that I saw my “Eventide” on the easel as I had left it the day before, but down the centre of it ran a cascade of water which came from nowhere and in my dream I saw my picture, one on which I had spent so much thought and labour, quickly washed away. The dream was most vivid and I awoke from it feeling very nervous and upset.
  At breakfast, I told my mother that I was sure something had happened to “Eventide” and leaving my plate untouched, I hurried over to Beckenham - I was then living at Shortlands – and rushed into my studio.
There lay my beloved picture on the floor, with a great, gaping rent where the handle of the easel had transfixed it in its fall – A fall due no doubt to my having left it carelessly placed on the easel.

 If my dream had in some way prepared me for calamity, it was none the less a terrible blow and for a few minutes I was quite unmanned. And then I pulled myself together, an the damage being irreparable, I posted off to town, got a new six foot canvas and set to work to re-paint my picture.
I now had but four days to do it in, but succeeded, with just an hour or two to spare.
Further, I am sure that the second edition of “Eventide” was much better than the first, for it was a case of do or die.

Anyway, “Eventide” was well hung and attracted the attention of Sir John Millais and gave me a decided lift in my profession.”

Frank Spenlove Spenlove




Frank Spenlove and the Mystified RA's







Frank  Spenlove - Spenlove


 Frank Spenlove was nominated for Associate membership to the RA first in 1909, backed by Frederick Pomeroy, Derwent Wood, Charles Napier Hemy, Arthur Hacker, Andrew Gow, Luke Fildes and William Frederick Yeames.

 On the second occasion in 1920, his nomination was supported by artists Frank Dicksee, Frank Short, Henry Scott Tuke, Reginald Blomfield and David Murray. Sadly, that nomination did not carry sufficient support for Frank to be considered for inclusion.

The then President of the RA was an architect called Sir Aston Webb.
That year saw two architects elected as Royal Academicians; Francis Derwent Wood, an architectural sculptor and Edwin Lutyens.


 For the RA nominee, once he has achieved securing Academicians as supporters, the wait begins and politics takes over. It ends with a meeting of all the Royal Academicians casting their votes in camera for the proposed candidates.


The Latin inscription on the front of the RA ballot box reads; ‘Detur Digniori,’

Translated it means;

“Let it be given to the more worthy”.


 For Frank, the Academy, by his exclusion, had driven home the worst kind of insult and the row which followed with Aston Webb must have sent ominous rumbles through the building if not the Royal Academy itself.
Clearly Frank Spenlove would have felt rightfully embittered and disappointed and would never again exhibit at the RA.


 What he previously had exhibited at the Royal Academy over the preceding 33 years was and is a genuine testimony to his genius as an artist.

In time we hope with this project, to be able to secure imagery for all the titles Frank Spenlove Spenlove created. This list grows daily and with your help, will continue to do so: However many were lost in the Blitz and many more have vanished into the mists of time.





T h e    P a i n t i n g s

Not in chronological order.

Frank Spenlove-Spenloves;

1890 Oil on canvas

Exhibited Paris Salon 1901

Awarded Gold Medal and purchased by the French Government for the Musée du Luxemboug.
H. 107, l. 182



Frank  Spenlove - Spenlove




^ Vespers, New Year's Eve in the Low Country

Exh. RA. 1905

Oil on canvas, 105.4 x 151.1 cm 6' x 4'

Exhibited: New Gallery, Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, Pittsburgh Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh International Exhibition 1907 and Glasgow Institute 1906

Collection: Glasgow Museums.

Purchased for the permanent collection in 1906


"Unto This Last" -

Oil on canvas

Alt: Le dernier voyage - interremont du une pilote.

Alt: The pilots funeral - Southwold, Winter

Exh. RA 1903 72 x 48"

Exh. Paris Salon 1906

Illustrated in The Sketch 1906

^ Too Late - 1904

Oil on Canvas

Musee d'Orsay Paris

Exh. RA 1904

“Too Late “ was taken to Pittsburgh by the evangelist,

the Rev. W R Wedderspoon as the subject of his famous sermon

preached to over 10,000 people August 23rd at the Great Auditorium

of Ocean Grove, New Jersey in 1909.



#229 Royal Academy of Arts exhibition 1910.

Oil on Canvas

A second painting of the same subject with several figures existed.

Franks own records and images confirm same. This image is to follow.




^ The Little White Cross  Exh RA
Date painted: 1902
Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 60.9 cm
Collection: Manchester City Galleries

Purchased from the artist 1904



1914~At the Call of Dawn -A peasants funeral in

the high Alps # 141

48 x 72"


1899~ Gold, green and grey.

Picardy poplars -Autumn #389


As yet, an incomplete list of works exhibited

by Frank Spenlove at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions over 33 years.


1887~ The Home of the Heron - Early morning


1887~ In the Stack #742


1888~ The Farmers Daughter #849

1889~ Silver Morn #225

1889~ In the Evening, it shall be light # 493

Artists title: At eventide it shall be light

There were two successive paintings with this title. The first torn in the studio and repainted by the artist. See Biography.

1889~ In the low country -early evening #804

1889~ L'etude #841

1889~ Eventide after rain #921

1889~ A Grey Morning #963

1889~ The wane of the year #1242

1890~ Waiting for father # 1054

1891~ Drear November #60

1891~ Her Love had gone a sailing #810

Described by the London Daily News London, England 7 Jul. 1891 as "very agreeable in its greens and greys; and a bright and cleverly composed little bit of seaside idyll."

11 x 17 Water colour heightened in white

1891~ Unto the last #1069

1892~ Ladies of the lake #1148

Exh York Summer Exh 1899

1893~ A Flemish landscape #346

1894~ After summer days #240

( Also Exh.Tasmanian International Exhibition )

1895~ O'er land and loch #763

1896~ A rest by the way #997

1897~ Homeward #579

1897~ April #834

1897~ Dawn of night.

…”Till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent Queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o’er the dark, her silvery mantle threw.”

Milton Paradise Lost

Described by the Graphic London, England
8 May 1897 as "ambitious , a work of extremely accomplished youth

1898~ Avenues of gold. A Picardy pastoral #117

National Gallery Adelade

1899~ Gold, green and grey. Picardy poplars -Autumn #389

1899~ Storm-rivven, so rugged and wild #551

1899~ Return of the flock, November #727

1899~ Near Alkmaar Holland #752

1899~ A lowland shepheardess - morning. #953



1900~ The hurrying storm; on the Maas, Holland #145

1900~ A winters tale; Funeral blessings Holland


#198 RSA

1900~ Nights awakening #644

1900~ Mending nets, Cantyre NB #750

1901~ Spring #672

1901~ Gilded pastures, an autumn day, Picardy


1901~ Dunwich Common, Suffolk. #886

1902~ The Homestead #206

1902~ Over the valley #224

1902~ By the loch, a summer day on the Berkshire canal #473

1903~ Unto This Last; the pilots funeral; Southwold, winter #742

1904~ Willow witches. Evening effect after the rain #93

1904~ Too Late #356

1904 ~ Darsham Vale - autumn. "Clouds that follow the storm"#885

1907~ Morning - A study in Spain #713

1907~ And the Winter shall come #155

|Lord Winterstokes Collection

1904~ Darsham Vale - Autumn. " Clouds that follow the storm" #885

1910~ BLUE AND GOLD: the dunes of Flanders






1911~ BLUE MISTS, Andalusia


1914~At the Call of Dawn -A peasants funeral in

the high Alps # 141

1915~ A Message of Spring


1918~ Fog, Murk and Grime
November on the work o'day Thames


1918~ For those in Peril

On the coast of Flanders.


The Little Prayer ( Salon) ?

Le Dernier Voyage

Hotel de Ville Paris

As the leaves fall 1907

Paris Municipal Council

Autumn Afternoon - The three nuns 1922


^ The Light at the Door, a January Night in Flanders (No.96)
Frank Spenlove-Spenlove. Painted: 1907 Exh RA.

Exh Bristol April 1908
Oil on canvas, 91 x 71 cm
Collection: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service



^ 'And the Winter Shall Come' RA 1907 #155
Frank Spenlove-Spenlove
Date: 1907
Oil on canvas, 104.2 x 180.2 cm
Collection: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives







1899~ Storm-rivven, so rugged and wild #551

^ In the Shadow of the Church, Dordrecht, Holland
Exh RA and New galleries 1903

Painted: 1903
Oil on canvas, 101.5 x 106.8 cm
Collection: Manchester City Galleries


^Exh RA. Grey of Evening
by Frank Spenlove-Spenlove
Oil on canvas, 70 x 90 cm
Collection: Ferens Art Gallery


^ The Church Porch:

"The world forgetting, by the world forgot"

Oil on canvas

Franco British Exhibition

Paris Salon (Sellosse Collection)




Woman and child in the snow.

Private Collection UK

Provenance: by descent from the artist


Figures gathering outside a church

Private Collection UK

Provenance: by descent from the artist


The three nuns

Autumn Afternoon -

1922 RA

Oil on Canvas

Prov. Family


^ The Green Shutters, Viaticum, Belgium  Exh RA

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove 1910 Oil on Canvas

Collection Laing Art Gallery

Illustrated in The Illustrated London News 1918







Latest inclusion in this catalogue. Dated 1908

Oil on Reeves and Son Canvas 20 x 23"

Signed and dated bottom right

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove  08

A River Landscape, probably Belgium


^ Children Of The Ghetto - Venice - 210x120 - Oil


Frank Spenlove : Signature 1898

Frank Spenlove: Signature 1898^

^ When Autumn Leaves Have Turned to Gold -Belgium - Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

Date painted: 1927
Oil on canvas, 33 x 39.5 cm

Collection: The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate


Quite Moments - A Bruges Study

Watercolour, signed 'Frank Spenlove Spenlove' and dated '1914' lower centre

Also inscribed on Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours label verso,

with the title and artist's address, 29.5 x 45 cm

^ The White Silence, Belgium
by Frank Spenlove-Spenlove: Signed and dated 'Spenlove'
Date painted: 1925. Oil on canvas, 49.5 x 59.5 cm
Collection: Dudley Museums Service


^ Belgium, the Lowly Bow to Share a Nation's Woe
by Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

Painted: 1915
Oil on canvas, 73.2 x 122.7 cm
Collection of: The Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum


The Shepherdess Frank Spenlove

^ The Shepherdess

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove, RCA, RBA, RI, ROI

(British, 1868-1933) signed lower right "Frank Spenlove-Spenlove '02" oil on board. Provenance: From an Essex country house. Exhibited: The Calton Gallery, Edinburgh.


Frank Spenlove : Signature

^ Frank Spenlove : Signature 1902^



^ 'Quai Vert' Bruges, Belgium
Frank Spenlove. Oil on canvas, 89 x 74 cm
Collection: Ferens Art Gallery


"Quai Vert, Bruges, Belgium",

Signed, oil on canvas, 24 x 34.5cm.; 9.5 x 13.5in.

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove (1868-1933)

^ Weary Ends the day 1924

Alt:The End of a Weary Day

Painted by Frank Spenlove-Spenlove
Oil on canvas, 72 x 183 cm

(Purchased originally by Lord Weymss)
Collection: Stockport Heritage Services.


^ When Summer Leaf Is Changed to Gold, Belgium
by Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

Date painted: 1925
Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 138 cm


^ Evening Glow
Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

Oil on Millboard, 30 x 45 cm
Collection: Museums Sheffield


^ Sheep on a Hillside

12 x 16 " Oil on Canvas





Study of cows black crayon and chalk on grey paper


11.5 x 17.5



Two workings of the same scene:

Private Collection UK

Provenance: by descent from the artist


^ First boats of the morning - Hoorn Holland

Watercolour heightened with white and bodycolour.

Signed, inscribed and dated 1901 30 x 45 cm

, bears "Henry Hargreaves & Co. Ltd., Pall Mall, London" label verso

Cloud study 1922


Unfinished watercolour.

^ Mountain scenery with two girls sunbathing

Attrib: Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

Oil on Canvas 50 x 76cm

Venice Oil


Untitled Private Collection UK

Provenance: By descent from the artist


^ Harvesting 1887


19 x 29" signed and dated


^ Windmill and cattle

Oil on panel

Signed 12.50 x 21.50cm (4.92 x 8.46 inches)


Signed and dated 04, oil on canvas, 25.5 x 46cm.


^ Paisaje

Oil on Canvas 35.6 x 50.9 14" x 20"

Signed F Spenlove


^ The old boathouse

Oil on canvas laid on board
25 x 35,5 cm (9,8 x 14 in)

^ Still life with yellow bowl and red candlestick
Medium: oil on canvas
60 x 70 cm (23,6 x 27,6 in)

^ In Harbour

Medium: oil on canvas
26 x 46 cm (10,2 x 18,1 in)

Signed and dated 89

^ Twilight, 1900
Medium: oil on canvas
60 x 91 cm (23,6 x 35,8 in)

^ Winter in Pangbourne, Berks 1929

Medium: Oil on canvas signed

41,2 x 51,1 cm (16,2 x 20,1 in)


^ Dutch barges on a canal, 1901

Watercolor and bodycolor
24,1 x 45 cm (9,5 x 17,7 in)

^ Fishermen in rowing boat casting nets

Medium: oil on canvas laid on canvas
30,5 x 41 cm (12 x 16,1 in)

^ Bosham, Sussex

Medium: Pencil and Watercolor
11,5 x 25,2 cm (4,5 x 9,9 in)
Signed and inscribed



^ Solitude

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove (British 1864-1933)

Signed, watercolour. 29x44cm


^ Frank Spenlove Spenlove signature

Solitude 2

^ Dust Road 1895
11.00 in. (27.94 cm.) (height) by 17.00 in. (43.18 cm.) (width)
s.d.95 W/Colour

Frank Spenlove Spenlove - A River Landscape

^ Teatime

Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 54 x 44.5 cm. (21.3 x 17.5 in.)
Franck Spenlove-Spenlove

^ The fishing fleet, St. Ives

Medium: Oil on Panel\
26 x 34 cm (10,2 x 13,4 in)

Frank Spenlove Spenlove

(View of the Harbour and Town from an Elevated Position)

Artist's name and title. Léon Suddaby Fine Art Gallery label verso


Oil Painting
Size: 48.5 x 58.5 cm. (19.1 x 23 in.)

^ A beach scene, Holland 1924

Oil on Canvas
30 x 40 cm (11,8 x 15,7 in)

Soth Billingshurst  96

Wharf on the Thames

Oil on Canvas

Weary Ends the Day 1920
Watercolour 900 x 595mm (sight size) 24-
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery



^The Light at the Door, a January Night in Flanders, 1907.

Oil on canvas, 91 x 71 cm.
Signed Frank Spenlove-Spenlove


Oil on Canvas
Size: 153 x 102 cm. (60.2 x 40.2 in.)


Medium: Oil on Plywood
12 x 21,5 cm (4,7 x 8,5 in)

A village situated on a small island at the southern entrance

to the Lagoon of Venice, Italy.

^ Venice

- Oil on panel 8. 5 x 5in
Signed 'Frank Spenlove-Spenlove' (lower right)

^ Venetian canal. Oil on board,
20 x 11.5cm

Signed bottom left

Missatributed oil not in Spenlove's style or manner but

bearing the same surname. The signature by comparison

is totally different to that of Frank Spenlove

Signature bottom left of Venetian painting^

Signature Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

^ Signature of Frank Spenlove-Spenlove

The Steps Chioggia

Oil on panel

Exhibited: Leeds Art Gallery Spring Exhibition 1900


Study of gondolas - Venice
Pen and ink and wash


Picardy Study



A figure in a snowy street
Oil on Canvas

51 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in)


Oil on Canvas
Size: 25.5 x 36 cm. (10 x 14.2 in.)


Size: 37 x 52 cm. (14.6 x 20.5 in.)

^Version #1- Arab street scene in Tunis 1904

Outside The Mosque Tunis - Tunisia, North Africa

Oil on Canvas


^ Version 2 - Arab street scene 1904

Outside The Mosque Tunis, Tunisia - North Africa

Oil on Canvas

^The Garden of Allah
Oil on canvas,

Signed and dated 1901, 35 x 46 cm


1904 There is an Antique Art Print' called;

Outside The Mosque Tunis Tunisia North Africa

A book plate exists after Frank Spenlove-Spenlove.

Retrieved from the 1904 edition of The Magazine Of Art.

The print / book illustration shows a group of Arab men sitting on a

wall under the shade of an olive tree.

Presumably based upon one of the above works in oil.



Kismet. Oil on board. Label verso with biography of the artist and stating that the work was sold as a souvenir gift at a luncheon in aid of the Three Arts Employment Fund at the Savoy Hotel, July 6th 1915


Figures before the Green Door - North Africa



Study of an Arab 03

Pen and Ink

^ Study North Africa Dated and inscribed 2.04.03

Pen and ink

Scottish studies made in 'Skye' 1887

watercolours  Inscr. Initialled and dated


In the shadow of the church. The Groot Hoofd Dordrecht

September 12. 1902

Pen and ink wash. Study for a major oil painting he was considering

^ Still Life with candle stick

Oil on Canvas

^ Hayricks

Oil on canvas


^ Grey day on the Sheldt.

Oil on Canvas



^ Copse of silver birches

Oil on Canvas

House by a river.

Oil on board

6.00 in. (15.24 cm.) (height) by 9.00 in. (22.86 cm.) (width)

signed, l.r.


Lady along rail on breezy afternoon

Oil on panel

6.50 in. (16.51 cm.) (height) by 10.00 in. (25.40 cm.) (width)
signed, l.l.

^ 'The interiors of Rheims Cathedral'

Oil on canvas, signed, 41cm x 30.5cm
Frank Spenlove Spenlove



'The Ferry'

Oil on canvas, signed, 29in x 40in

The evening after the rain.

Landscape with figure 1889
24,8 х 35.4, oil on wood


The Bathers 1890

Oil on panel

6 3/8 x 9" Signed and dated LL

Silver birches in the autumn

Signed lower left 14 1/2" x 10 1/4"



"Stream in am Mountain landscape

Oil on canvas. Signed and marked lower left. 59 1/2" x 39 1/2".
One of Frank Spenlove’s largest paintings.

'Study of a Tree in Woodland', Watercolour.


Figures look out to a stormy sea
Watercolour, signed and dated 1919

49cm x 75cm

Frank Spenlove Spenlove - A Winter Canal Scene, with Figures and Barges

Mixed Media, Signed, 4.75" x 8.25".



Frank Spenlove-Spenlove, watercolour
"Grey Day on the Scheldt Belgium"
S igned and dated 1922. 10" x 14"



'The Red Mill, Holland watercolour

Signed and dated 01, 24.3x45cm

Fous lakeland landscape with figures

Signed verso, 11x19.7cm


A view of "Ronda, Spain"
Oil on canvas,
11. 75in x 17.5in

Still life of roses

Signed with initials and dated '97' (lower left)

Oil on board 25 x 18cm (9 13/16 x 7 1/16in)


'Study of a Birch Tree in Woodland'
Watercolour, 34cm x 24cm


2 Sketchbook watercolours Holland


Bruges sketchbook / 20.9.06

Frank Spenlove SPENLOVE Oil on panel
Waterfowl by a footbridge Inscribed verso
6.5” x 10.5” (16.5cm x 26.7cm)

The Restless Sea, `L`Etude`

A study of crashing waves with seagulls floating on the breeze.
Signed and dated 1915, watercolour. With hand written label verso.
37cm x 51cm.

Spenlove (1866-1933)

A rocky coastal scene signed oil on board 25 x 33.5cms; 10 x 13 1/4in.


Attrib; Frank Spenlove, 1864-1933)

Haymaking, oil on panel, unsigned, 15 x 33cm (6 x 8.75ins)

Attrib: Frank Spenlove Spenlove:

Habourside, oil on panel, unsigned, 13 x 22cm (5 x 8.75ins)



Frank Spenlove- Spenlove Attrib:
Boats moored in an estuary at dusk.

Watercolour on paper laid onto card, 172 x 266

A 'questionable' Spenlove Oil on panel

14 x 22cms

Bears an old auction lot no 178 and sale date: 5/6/79

Winter morning  (Téli reggel)

Probably Bruges c. 1914

48,5 x 60,5 cm
Image courtesy of Kieselbach Galéria

We are grateful to Laszlo Grof for bringing this image to our attention

Study of Zeebrugge Dunes

Oil on panel 15 x 22"

Exhibited Royal Institute of Painters after 1917 when the Yellow Door school was registered at Victoria St>

Though the work is signed and dated 1911?




List of known Frank Spenlove works  (with no illustration)

yet discovered.

Nos . 94



This is an ongoing catalogue project:

Please contact us if you own or know of a painting by

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove that is not included in this catalogue.




Golden Grain 1884.
66 th EXHIBITION Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
Spenlove, F. 51, Beckenham Lane, Shortlands. 404, 1033.


Forbidden Fruit 1884

66 th EXHIBITION Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours



The Portal, Belgium c.1923

Royal Collection
Reference RL 27389
Orange building with large porch, figures in front, autumn trees around. Signed with initials at lr.

Commissioned for the Library in Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.


BLUE AND GOLD: the dunes of- Flanders

Exh: #91 Royal Academy of Arts exhibition 1910.

Oil on Canvas



Oil on Canvas



BLUE MISTS, Andalusia

Oil on Canvas



A Message of Spring

Oil on Canvas


1915 - War Relief Exhibition in aid of the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance Society.


Fog, Murk and Grime. November on the work o'day Thames

Oil on Canvas


1918 - War and Peace Exhibition.


For those in Peril. On the coast of Flanders.


1918 - War and Peace Exhibition.


Rocky cove with fisherman's cottage
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 39 x 60 cm. (15.4 x 23.6 in.)


Figure herding sheep into a barn -

Oil on Canvas

Size: 35.6 x 74.9 cm. (14 x 29.5 in.)

A port at twilight - Oil on Canvas


Les bords de la Tamise à Cheyne-Walu - Oil on Canvas

An autumn afternoon 1887 - Oil on Canvas


Quiet Moments
Water colour 27.94 x 47.92

Morning, a pastoral. Signed and dated

Richmond Bridge

Medium: Oil on Panel
Size: 18 x 26 cm. (7.1 x 10.2 in.)

Landscape with cows grazing

Oil on Canvas
Size: 34.3 x 40.6 cm. (13.5 x 16 in.)

Oil on Canvas1
152.4 x 101.6 cm

Figures in a stormy landscape

Watercolour 48.26 x 58.42 cm

Figures on a quayside
Oil on Canvas
22.86 x 43.18 cm signed, dated, inscribed

Portrait of young boy wearing white costume, half length
Oil on Canvas
50.8 x 33.02 cm

The farm road to Picardy
Oil on Canvas
50.8 x 60.96 cm


Her love had gone a sailing 1891
27 x 43 cm watercolour heightened with white signed.

"very agree- able in its greens and greys; and a bright and cleverly composed little bit of seaside idyll."
London Daily News London, England
7 Jul 1891

The Thames near Maidenhead
Frank Spenlove Oil on Canvas

51 x 76 cm (20,1 x 29,9 in)


The water meadow

Christie's sale: June 5, 1914. #395


The Grey Farm 1908

Exh Manchester

1908 New Gallery

(Rothschild Collection Paris)


Chant of the golden hour 1897 ?

Water Colour RBA Exh.

Sorrow: 1908

Exh Aberdeen Artists Soc

The Gondoliers ( A Venetian Story) 1901

Exh Aberdeen Artists Society


The Haven under the Rill (Coast of Kintyre) 1898



Murk of the morning 1900

RBA Exhibition

A Hillside Pasture 1908

Exh Manchester


Grey Dawn (Old Cordoba Spain) 1908

Exh Manchester July 1908

Within - 1907

Exh Bristol 1907

Without - A winters tale

Exh 1909 Manchester #78

Flowers in the fields of Arran NB 1898

Acq Bristol Fine arts academy 1899


RBA Exhibition 1899

Vestibule of numerous miniature piuctures of British and Continental scenery


When skies are blue and winds are fair 1906

Exh Feb 1907

Southport art gallery


The Lone Mill 1909

Exh Aberdeen 1909


Seville Orange Grove 1902

Exh New Gallery


A Soliloquy of Night 1899


The morning post described it so: "The landscape is olive- black near at hand, and of a dark blue in the distance."


Love's Herald of Spring 1898

Mentioned in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper London, England
27 Mar 1898

RBA 1898

"brings delicately before us the orchard, with its white blossoms, and, above it, the luminous..."London Evening Standard London, England
28 Mar 1898

Lost Blessings 1894


Gathering pilgrims paying homage and devotiions at a shrine.

London Daily News London, England 2 Apr 1894

Landscape with figures and sheep
20 x 30

Bukowski Stockholm 97


Whispering Daylight

Shown at the Royal Society of British Artists,

Has been bought at a handsome price by Mr. Read, a Glasgow art collector .
Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol. 1-2, 1904


Les derniers reflets.

L'Exposition internationale de Bruxelles. Beaux-arts 1897 # 142.

Light of the West

Listed in "Modern and Pictorial Art" ( Its teachings and philosophy)


The pool and idyl
Selected for purchase by France - Selosse Collection. Le musée de Roubaix


Watercolour on paper mounted on card (Roberson's Aquarelle Tablet), depicting a river landscape with castle on the horizon, 183 x 270mm (7.2 x 10.6ins) Sold at Dominic Winter Auctions 06 Oct 2016. NO Image



Fishermen's Wives, Belgian Coast

Signed and dated 1915, bears a typed label on the backboard

Watercolour heightened with white and gum Arabic 37 x 51cm



Signed with initials and inscribed "sketch Alkmaar" (Holland)

Watercolour 35,5 by 25cm




Clovelly Harbour from the east
Watercolour 6.75in x 9.75in. Signed.


A Sunny Afternoon

Signed "Frank Spenlove Spenlove" lower center

Oil on canvas
12 x 16 1/4 in. (30.5 x 41.2 cm.)

Study of tree, 1920
Watercolour, gouache 21x15 inches (54x38 cm)

Signed & dated

"Sundown On The Conway"

Signed.75x50 oil on canvas


Village square with figures

Signed, oil on board, 12.5 x 20.5cm


Still life with bowl of flowers.

Oil on canvas, 20in x 24in, inscribed verso


Mountainous lakeland landscape with figure

Signed verso, 11x19.7cm


Heathland, Landscape with Birch Trees.

Signed 'Frank Spenlove-Spenlove';

Watercolour, 10 x 7ins 25.4 x 17. 8cm


The Groote, Diest, Belgium, 1909

Oil/panel 9x5 inches (22x13 cm) signed & dated 18.9.-09.


'Morning', a female goatherd, in an extensive landscape

Signed and dated '99

Bears Royal Institute label verso.

30 x 50ins. Oil Painting


A Rocky Cove with Fisherman's Cottage

Oil on canvas; signed lower right

15.5in x 23.5in - 39 x 60cm.

Waterfall in heathland
Signed, 12 x 18 ins. Oil on canvas,


A river landscape with a Windmill and farm- buildings

Signed and dated, 'Frank Spenlove-Spenlove '01'

Watercolour heightened with white, 9.5 x 17.5in

Coastal meadow
Medium: Oil on Panel 13 x 21,6 cm (5,1 x 8,5 in)


L’etude, cattle grazing
40.64 x 60.96 cm

The Upland Road 1908
Oil on Canvas
121.92 x 185.42 cm
Exhibited Liverpool


Rural landscape with cattle grazing under cloudy summer sky
Oil on Canvas
50.8 x 60.96 cm

Oil on Panel
Size:30 x 45 cm. (11.8 x 17.7 in.)


Inscribed on the reverse 'Daylight/a study/Miss Emmie Marlin/

with all kind wishes on the 18th July 1905 from Frank Spenlove Spenlove'

Oil on board
5 x 8½in. (12.7 x 21.5cm.)


The Shepherdess

Signed and dated lower right Frank Spenlove-Spenlove 02
Oil on panel
8 1/2 x 5in. (21.5 x 12.7cm)
Exhibited London, Royal Society of British Artists, 1908

Sunlight and Shadow

Newmarket Art Gallery


The garden of Allah

Dunedin New Zealand art gallery


Corner House - Malines ( Holland) 1921

Alt: The Corner House ( A bit of old Holland)

Bristol Corporation


Old Belgium

Royal Collection


Falling Leaves -Belgium


Windsor Meadows

Royal Collection


As they watch by the shore - Belgian Fishwives

Fishermens Wives


Doncaster Art gallery


Bright and breezy Suffolk day 1897

Alt: Suffolk Common

Royal Soc British Artists


Suffolk Common Morning 1897

Exh Royal Soc Brit Artists


Avenues cold 1897

Exh feb 1898 Leeds Art Exhibition #538

A winter study 1893 or 4


Exh Water colour society of Ireland March 1894

Underhill 1907

Discussed in Yorkshire post 12.02.08

Spring Blossoms 1900

Exh Worcester Victoria Institute Sept.1900

On the north Holland canal 1898


The daylight dies 1899

Exh Bristol November


The Passing Storm: Scheveningen 1895

RBA Exh.

A spacious sea-coast picture

On the Sands at Scheveningen 1893

RBA Exh (224)

Summer Clouds 1893



An Autumn Harmony 1893

3 works:

RBA 1893

Morning Post London, England 24 Mar 1893
"Three pretty landscapes may be noted by Mr. F. Spenlove,

Evening grey - Landscape with trees

Watercolour 1931

Height: 14.8215 in, Width: 21.0625 in
Collection V&A

The Twilight Hour 1927

Exhibitied at the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists Adelaide

" A fascinating scene in a Berkshire Lane"

'The News Adelaide 27.10.27


The Lone Mill— Moonlight on the Belgian Sand Dunes


Galleries of the Art Association, Montreal, from Nov. 9th to Dec. 4th, 1909

The Alcantara, Toledo, by Moonlight

Mentioned in (6. The art treasures of London.
T (13) 1964 i"66).

At Autumns Close
Pall mall Magazine 1907

An Upland - an Autumn study 1907

RBA Exh 1906


‘As they watch on the shores – Fisherwives, Belgium

Gouache displayed at the annual summer exhibition at Doncaster Museum in 1921
The work was acquired in 1921 as a gift from the artist.

As leaves fall

( Purchased by Paris Municipal Council – 1909 )



Clubs: Arts, London Sketching Club, United Arts, Chelsea Arts


Frank Spenlove-Spenlove exhibited many of his fine works of art in his career including at the following venues;


Paris Salon 1901 - 6  ~ Gold medal winner- Medaille de troisiemme classe.
79 at the RA: Royal Academy
144 at the RBA: Which until 1887 was the Society of British Artists, latterly becoming the Royal Society of British Artists - Suffolk Street. Founded in 1823 primarily for the annual exhibition and sale of the works of living artists of the United Kingdom
106 RI. Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, originally known as the New Watercolour Society and
afterwards, the Royal Institution
91 ROI. Royal Institute of Oil Painters. The only major art society which featured work done in oil.
42 RCA, Royal Cambrian Society.
[Constituted in 1881, the Royal Cambrian Academy was and still is a centre for artistic excellence in Wales]
38 Walker Art Gallery Liverpool.
21 Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts.
18 Manchester City Art Gallery.
18 New Gallery London between 1888 –1910.
9 Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham.
8 at the NWCS: The New Society of Painters in Miniature and Watercolours.
5 RHA Royal Hibernian Academy.
2 Goupil Gallery London.
2 Walker Gallery London.
1 International Society.
Aberdeen art society
Leeds Art Gallery

Royal British Colonial Society of Artists

British Pavillion, Venice Exhibition 1910 ~ 1914 ~ 1922

British art consultants




British Watercolour Artists up to 1920. H.L. Mallalieu
Dictionary of Victorian Painters. Christopher Wood
Art Journal 1849 – 1912 - 1895 (159) 1901 (191) 1904 (196) 1905 (300 – 385) 1906 (269) 1907 (186)
Studio (See Indexes Volumes 27, 29, 41, 43, 63, 66.
Connoisseur 42 (1915) 59f, 91. 1933, 409.
Art News 31 (1932/3) No36 Pg 8
Who’s Who 1924
Benezet 1976, V9-742
New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
Thieme-Becker: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler


© David Freeman: 2015



























































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Illustrated Biography and images


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