Matthew Grayson was born in Bristol, England in 1965 and had an interest in art from an early age.
After leaving secondary school in 1982, he attended the City of Bath Technical College, where he studied a higher national diploma in technical illustration and art. Matthew Grayson’s first commissions of public house and animal portraits gained popularity during the next 10 years. The first major step in Grayson’s professional career began with his debut publication of a limited edition print run of Castle Combe Village in Wiltshire. He sold all 250 limited edition prints within four months.
Matthew Grayson’s reputation as an artist with a discerning eye for detail and topographical accuracy grew quickly, and in 2005, he produced his recognized masterwork Magnum Opus, which depicts the west front of Wells Cathedral circa 1435.
The painting is comprised of two panels. The main panel, is one the most accurate and detailed artist impression of the west front of the cathedral as it may have appeared in the second quarter of the fifteenth century. The work includes the gold background and the three cardinal virtues—faith , hope and charity hovering above the west front and the lower panel which is comprised of a gradual chant by Gregorio Allegri, written in Latin and old English typeface.
The lower panel is illuminated with the tile patterns which lay on the lady chapel flooring of the cathedral and two flanking angels. One offers the newly built Wells Cathedral (1250) to the people of Wells, and God and the other angel is reading a bible, whilst peering up to the central top of the lower panel, where the holy spirit is hovering.
Magnum Opus was published as a very limited edition lithographic print run in 2002, 2003 and 2005. All three versions including a lined drawing of the west front, the lower panel and the main panel sold out within months of being published. Magnum Opus is viewed online all over the world and is used for reference purposes and research in universities, colleges and institutes globally.
Grayson is a supplying artist to the Bridgeman Art Library in London. He is also a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild. His art is housed in national art collections and museums as well as English Heritage, Hyperion Records, the National Trust and National Health Service.
Grayson completed a commission of HMS Victory in No. 2 dry dock Portsmouth. This work depicts the Victory as it would have appeared at the time of Trafalgar, in its true period colors. Matthew’s painstaking and time-consuming technique is based on old masters’ artistic rules of stretching the perspective of the chosen subject whilst greatly improving the composition’s ambiance by constructing complex geometrical line construction overlays.
Recently, Matthew has been commissioned to draw and paint seven birds of prey for the Natural History Museum London, plus various other natural history subjects, over a ten-year period. Concurrently, Matthew is in the process of drawing a highly detailed mathematical line drawing study of Saint Mark’s Square in Venice which will be produced in a limited edition lithographic print during the next couple of years.