Art & Artists in Exhibition: Vancouver 1890 - 1950
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Stanley Delhi-Force Tytler

June 21 1857 - February 25 1948

B.C. Society of Fine Arts (Founding Member 1909) (Life Member)
British Columbia Artist (B.C.A., 1921)

Stanley Tytler was one of the earliest supporters of the arts in Vancouver, after his arrival in British Columbia in 1894. Tytler was born on Delhi Ridge during the siege of Delhi. His mother was the only woman present, and allowed to stay only because her pregnancy was so advanced that the army could not spare any troops to accompany her to safety. The British troops were vastly out-numbered by the mutineers holding the city, but the mutineers did not have the military leaders who could have taken advantage of that fact.

Tytler's father, Robert, was an officer in the British Army, responsible at that time for guarding the army's Military Chest. When Stanley was born, reinforcing troops were expected, and the men took hope by referring to him as "the first reinforcement" to arrive. They also wanted to call him Battlefield Tytler, but his mother chose Delhi-Force in honor of the reinforcements that had arrived by the time he was baptized.

The Tytler family (Robert, Harriet, 2 children) had barely escaped the massacre in the city, where men, women, children, and babies were slaughtered wherever they were found. The British army besieged the city of Delhi for 131 days before the Indian mutineers surrendered on September 20, 1857.

Tytler's mother Harriet later wrote an extensive memoir of her time in India, which was extremely interesting as well as helpful with the details of his birth. See AN ENGLISHWOMAN IN INDIA - THE MEMOIRS OF HARRIET TYTLER 1828 - 1858 below in references.

Tytler was sent to England at a young age to recover from an illness. Afterwards, he returned to India where he was apparently raised. He joined the British Army, and served as a Lieutenant with the Natal Native Contingent in Africa during the Zulu wars in 1879. He was with the troops that recovered the body of the Prince Imperial after he was killed in a Zulu ambush at the age of 23.

Tytler later traveled to China and to Australia. There are references to his artistic training in Australia, and a number of his artworks shown in early Vancouver exhibitions were of Sydney and New South Wales, but to date no specific information has been found that details it.

Tytler's memorial article notes that he arrived in BC in 1894, although further evidence of this has not been found by this editor. Tytler's mother is noted as having visited his sister Edith in British Columbia in 1894, and Tytler may have accompanied his mother on that trip. No further information about the sister has been located.

Tytler married Hester Ellen Melhuish (1878 - 1968) in Chilliwack on January 3, 1900. Their son Christopher Delhi-Force Tytler was born in Nelson on October 12, 1900. Tytler was listed in the BC Directories as living in Nelson from 1900 to 1902, first working as a Draughtsman for the Silver King Mine, and then as Secretary to the Manager of Hall Mines. The Henderson BC Directories listed him living in North Vancouver in 1904. From 1905 until his death he lived in Vancouver and Burnaby. He worked as Special Agent for Standard Life Assurance Company.

Tytler was one of the founding members of the B.C. Society of Fine Arts in 1909, and exhibited with them for many years, including the inaugural exhibition in 1909, November 1909, May 1910, November 1912, April 1915, September 1920, 1921, 1922, May 1925 and 1926, June 1927, from 1936 to 1939, 1948, 1950, and 1960. Tytler was listed in the 1930 annual exhibition catalogue as a Life Member of the Society. (Editor's note: his obituary states that he was a President of the Society, but the list published in 1950 (2 years after his death) does not list him holding that position.)

He showed work with the Island Arts and Crafts Society in 1913; at the Vancouver Exhibition in 1924 and 1925; and at the Vancouver Art Gallery in the inaugural 1932 B.C. Artists exhibition. The titles of his paintings indicate that he was an active traveller on the coast of B.C., probably reaching Phillips River and Texada Island via Union Steamship.

He died in Burnaby in 1948, aged ninety. His death certificate notes that his profession was "artist" from which he retired in 1935 after forty years. He was survived by his wife, one brother, one son, one daughter, and six grandchildren. His younger brother was the late British General Sir Arthur Tytler, DSO, KCB.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK
1909 April 20 - 28 BCSFA   First Annual Exhibition The Bush Near Sydney
Foul Bay, Victoria
Phillip River
Vancouver Island From Texada
Swamp Gums
1909 November BCSFA    Second Exhibition Circular Quay, Sydney, N.S.W.
Near Victoria
Camp, Frederick Arm
The Lions
Bush, Near Sydney, N.S.W.
Trout Lake
An Australian Creek
1910 May BCSFA   Third Exhibition On the Edge of the Forest
First Narrows from Stanley Park
View from Indian Reserve, Kitsilano
Trout Lake
Fairy Bower near Sydney, N.S.W.
Freshwater Bay
Indian Rancherie near Chilliwack
1912 Nov. 25 - 30 BCSFA   Annual Exhibition Bush Near Sydney, N.S.W.
Autumn, Burrard Inlet
Solitude
The Bluff, Comox
Lynn Falls
In the Woods, Comox
Comox Harbour
Sketch from First Narrows Flats
Comox Sketches
The Lions, North Vancouver
1915 April BCSFA   Works by Members The Bluff, Comox
Comox Harbour
Seymour Mountain
A Woodland Path
Capilano
Half Moon Bay
Comox Bluff
A West Vancouver Road
The Lions, from North Lonsdale
A Bit of Nanaimo
1920 September 18 - 25 BCSFA   Annual Exhibition Vine Maples, Tipperary Park
1921 Sept. 19 - 24 BCSFA   13th Annual Edge of the Clearing
Capilano
1922 Sept. 16 - 23 BCSFA   14th Annual Sketch, Seymour Creek
Fire and Fireweed, Burnaby Lake
1924 May 3 - 17 BCSFA   16th Annual The Golden Ears, from New Westminster
Breaking Weather, Burnaby Lake
Mt. Baker from Oak Bay
1925 May 9 - 16 BCSFA   17th Annual The Canyon
Autumn
First Narrows from Stanley Park
Evening, North Shore
1926 May 8 - 15 BCSFA   18th Annual The Edge of the Lake (Burnaby)
1927 June 10 - 25 BCSFA   19th Annual The Salmon Pool, Capilano
1929 Nov. 16 - 30 BCSFA   Winter Exhibition Deer Lake
1932 May - July VAG   All Canadian Exhibition The Bluff at Comox
1932 Oct. 5 - 30 VAG   B.C. Artists 1st Annual Autumn Woods, Burnaby Lake
The Beach, Qualicum
1933 June 3 - 11 VAG   BCSFA 23rd Annual Autumn Woods, Burnaby Lake
1933 Dec. 1 - 17 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition View from the Old Moodivill (sic) Mill
Misty Morning
Mt. Baker from Oak Bay
1934 Dec. 4 - 16 VAG   B.C. Artists Christmas Exhibition A Woodland Path, Stanley Park
Autumn, Burnaby Lake
1936 June 26 - July 12 BCSFA   26th Annual Rita
Mt. Baker
Autumn in Stanley Park
1937 April 16 - May 1 BCSFA   27th Annual Manley Beach, From Fairy Bowen
Swamp Gums
1938 April 29 - May 15 BCSFA   28th Annual Corner of my Garden
1939 June 9 - 25 BCSFA   29th Annual The Spit, Comox
1948 May 18 -June 6 BCSFA   38th Annual Australian Landscape
1950 April 25 - May 14 BCSA   40th Annual Morning Mist

References

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

AN ENGLISHWOMAN IN INDIA - THE MEMOIRS OF HARRIET TYTLER 1828 - 1858
    1986, Oxford Letters & Memoirs series; ISBN 0-19-282100-8
    240 pages, illustrated black & white, index, footnotes, essays
This memoir, written by Tytler's mother, gives a fascinating story of the battle for Delhi, and provides excellent details about Tytler's birth and the first few weeks of his life. Unfortunately, his later life is not discussed at all.

THE FINE ARTS IN VANCOUVER, 1886 - 1930 (refer to THOM)

ISLAND ARTS AND CRAFTS SOCIETY - List of Exhibitors

CITY & PROVINCIAL DIRECTORIES 1926 (refer to DIR)

Clippings

"Stanley Tytler's Australian studies marked him, during his residence in the Commonwealth, as a competent observer of Nature's moods, and he has found in British Columbia many good subjects for his clever brush. His technique is bold, and his grasp of the principles of art comprehensive. He leans to a broad interpretation of what he sees; his capacity for selection is evident, and his method sincere and direct."
      From "Art in British Columbia", by Bernard McEvoy
      Opportunities Magazine, 1910

"The Lions", No. 11, by Stanley Tytler is a considerable piece of work in water color which shows much dash and freedom of execution. This is a large and important water color and it is essentially modern, standing a yard or two away from it its successes may be judged of. The trees are exceedingly well put in, though one could have wished for a little difference in the color employed. A little less gray in the foreground and a little more differentiation of "values" would in our opinion have been desirable. But this does not prevent the expression of the estimate that this is one of the most worthy efforts in the entire exhibition. The same artist exhibits in No. 92 a poetic pastel of a backwater in the Fraser River. His "Moonlight On Burrard Inlet", No. (89?), is of the same character. In No. (93?) "Study, Capilano", Mr. Tytler shows a certain facility in the use of his materials though the immediate foreground of white stones and water is scarcely convincing. At the same time the little oil sketch is interesting."
      From "With The B.C. Artists", by "A Visitor"
      Vancouver Daily Province, September 27, 1916

"Australian artistic training is represented by Stanley Tytler"
      From "Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts", by Bernard McEvoy
      Studio Magazine, London England, February 15, 1918

"Two members of this committee exhibit (?) paintings of their own - Mr. Stanley Tytler and Mr. J.R. Wilson, the (?). The former shows two broadly painted pictures in all, one of Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, and the other a representation of the driftwood on (?) bluff at Comox - a difficult (?) (?) cleverly treated."
      From "Local Work is on View" by Bernard McEvoy
      Vancouver Daily Province, October 2 1919

"Stanley Tytler also is thus known, besides being an honored life member. He shows three pictures."
      From "B.C. Society of Fine Arts", by Diogenes
      Vancouver Daily Province, November 13 1930

'With the death of Stanley D. Tytler, well-known nonagenarian artist, the B.C. art world has lost one of its most interesting personalities. (continues)
      From "S.D. Tytler, B.C. Artist Succumbs", by Palette
      Vancouver Daily Province, February 27 1948

"The original group of founders included ... Stanley D. Tytler, who passed away only recently in his ninetieth year after an adventurous life, beginning with his birth during the siege of Delhi in the Indian mutiny."
      From "B.C. Society of Artists - A History", B.C. Society of Fine Arts 40th Annual Exhibition Catalogue (1950)


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