John Roddam Spencer Stanhope [also known as John Roddam Spencer-Stanhope] was born at Cannon Hall, outside the village of Cawthorne, near Barnsley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England on 20 January 1829 and attended Christ's Church Oxford from where he graduated in 1851. His parents were strongly opposed to his becoming an artist, and actively discouraged his ambitions in that direction. However an introduction to George Frederick Watts confirmed his desire to make art his career. After leaving Oxford Stanhope worked as Watts' assistant for several years. Together with Watts in 1853 he travelled to Italy and to Asia Minor in 1856–57. Through his association with Watts, he met and mixed with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

Text source: Arts + Architecture Profiles from Art History Research net (AHRnet)

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