Elizabeth Stannard comes from the very well-known Stannard family of painters. She and her cousin Emily were to produce some of the finest still-life paintings of their period. She was born in 1829 and died in 1915.
The Stannards were one of the notable Norwich families whose artistic talents came to prominence during the nineteenth century. Elizabeth's father, Alfred Stannard, was a respected painter, as was his brother, Joseph. Emily Stannard, Joseph's wife, was a recognised artist who had studied in Amsterdam, and their daughter, Emily, was another fine painter.
Elizabeth Stannard was thus brought up surrounded by talented artists and from an early age she showed an interest in painting. Her father gave regular art classes, which she attended. She was a very delicate child, and would tire easily, which is probably why she decided to concentrate her work on still-life paintings.
Early in her career Stannard's style was noticeably influenced by the Dutch Masters, particularly de Heem, and her paintings displayed a noticeable blue hue. However, by 1864 she had developed her own style. The light that plays on her compositions is magnificent - creating perfect shadows, and a remarkable crispness and clarity of form.