He studied in London at the South Kensington Art School, and at Heatherley's. He also studied in Paris under Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, and at the Académie Julian under Gustave Boulanger and Lefebvre.
He exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, and from 1890 at the Royal Academy. He also was a regular exhibiter at the New Gallery and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (formerly the New Society of Painters in Water Colours). He became a full member of the latter institution.
Although he did paint in oils, he specialized in highly finished watercolour paintings containing images of young women in classical draperies on marble terraces. Subjects of this type were popularized by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Albert Moore and J. W. Godward. Unlike Moore he rarely painted nudes. His watercolours were widely reproduced as prints.
Ryland also designed stained glass and his woodcuts were used in a number of magazines, including the English Illustrated Magazine in the 1880s and 1890s.
Influences and Style
Ryland's style mixed themes from the Neo-Classical and Pre-Raphaelite movements. His influences include Puvis de Chavanne and Alma-Tadema. Ryland is recognized as the foremost of the neo-classical painters working in watercolour, and is frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy.
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