Biography of Francis Hayman (1708-1776)

British painter, born in Exeter in 1708 and died in London in 1776, that he/she his production of oil paintings with illustrations of Shakespeare's play.

The extensive work of Hayman is characterized by its versatility, since it included a wide variety of techniques and different content. Thus, to his early works, portraits and scenes from popular theme, used the oil, but then dedicated himself to the illustration of books, especially plays and, particularly, the works of William Shakespeare. His love for the performing arts led him to make decorated theatre and, during the Decade of the 1940s, he/she played even different roles in works of historical character in the Covent Garden Theatre. His eclecticism prompted you to accept one of the most important assignments of his career, others completely to its previous production: the decoration of the pavilions of the Vauxhall gardens in London, two of which are currently preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

He started the study of Gravelot, where he/she had as a companion to Gainsborough. Its success, both as a painter of portrait and historical themes, which was considered the best of his time, as in his illustrations, he/she was rewarded with several awards. In 1760 he/she was appointed President of the society of artists, who served until 1768; that year was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy of Arts, and in 1771 became the head of the library of the institution, who served until his death.

Even though its output was prolific, currently stored little decorative work of Hayman. Yes the treinata and a paintings that were commissioned to him are preserved, however, to illustrate the edition of the works of Shakespeare, commissioned by Sir Thomas Hanmer. Most of his portraits are in the Tate Gallery, case of David Garrick as Ricardo III (1760), and in the National Portrait Gallery in London, where you can admire the portraits of Jonathan Tyers and his family (1740), Robert Clive and Mir Jaffier after the battle of Plassey (1757), justifying his deserved reputation as a portraitist and painter of historical themes.

May day (oil on canvas, 1744). Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England).


ALLEN, BRIAN AND IVEAGH BEQUEST. Francis Hayman. (Yale: Yale University Press, May 1987).