MacConnal Mason

James Hayllar (1829 - 1920)

Going to School; Going Home from School

A pair; one signed with monogram and dated, lower right: 1858
Also signed, titled, dated and numbered No.2 on artist’s label on reverse;
the other signed with monogram and dated, lower left: 1858
Also signed, titled, dated and numbered No.3 on artist’s label on reverse

Each oval - Oil on panel 10 x 7⅞ in 25.4 x 20 cm
Framed size, one: 18 x 16 in – 45.7 x 40.6 cm; the other: 17¾ x 15¾ in – 45 x 40 cm

Provenance: Royal Exchange Fine Art Gallery, London;
Anon. sale, Christie’s, London, 11 June 2002, Lot 105;
MacConnal-Mason Gallery, London;
Private collection, UK
Artist Biography: James Hayllar studied with Frances Stephen Cary (1808-1880) at the Royal Academy Schools, and from 1851-1853 travelled throughout Italy. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1851 until 1898 and at the British Institute, but more often at Suffolk Street and he was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists.

Looking at the Royal Academy records, it would appear that early in his career he was primarily a portrait painter, first exhibiting a genre subject in 1855. From then onwards he became preoccupied with figure and genre painting, often producing works with an historical theme, such as the Civil War and the Tudor period. From 1866 onwards his paintings more frequently included children the first to draw attention being “Miss Lilly’s Carriage Stops the Way”, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1868.

In 1875 he rented Castle Priory, a large house in Wallingford, Berkshire and many of the pictures he painted there depicted scenes of village life, often with local people acting as models for him.

Of his family, his son Algernon Victor was an engraver, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1889. His four daughters were all talented and respected painters; Jessica (1858-1940) painted domestic genre subjects until crippled by an accident in 1900, Edith (1860-1948) painted similar subjects, Kate (fl.1883-1898) painted flowers and still-life subjects and Mary (Mrs H. W. Wells, fl.1880-1885) painted flowers, genre and landscape subjects. The whole family were the subject of an article published in ‘The Connoisseur’, April/May 1974.


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Bibliography: Christopher Wood “Dictionary of Victorian Painters”
Algernon Graves, F.S.A. “The Royal Academy of Arts”
F. Lewis “Dictionary of Victorian Landscape Artists”
E. Bénézit “Dictionnaire des Artistes”

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