Stanley appears to have been the victim himself of this process of characterisation. The novelist Joyce Carey published in 1944 a novel titled The Horse's Mouth in which the main character, Gulley Jimson, was a somewhat scruffy artist who had been in prison and was envisaging grandiose and improbable paintings based on biblical themes.
Since 1938 Stanley had faced self-inflicted financial difficulties connected with his marriage to his second wife and at one point had even been threatened with prison for debt, a fate he only just avoided through the good offices of his dealer Dudley Tooth.

Carey, who was himself a painter of modest success, was silent about any connection, and in any case as a novelist would have used rather than portrayed his sources. There seems no record that Stanley offered comment. But there were many readers who saw - and still see - a parallel, although in many respects Augustus John and, more probably, Gerald Wilde were comparable candidates for Gulley Jimson. The novel was made into a film in 1984 as a vehicle for Alec Guinness. It is available on DVD.