HALL, Sydney Prior

1842 - 1922

Sydney Prior Hall

Sydney Prior Hall, was born at All Saints, Newmarket, Suffolk, on 18 October 1842, eldest son of artist Henry (Harry) Hall [q.v.], and his wife, Ellen Ann née Payne. Educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, and at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he held a scholarship and in 1865 gained a first class in literae humaniores and also attended the Royal Academy Schools in London under Arthur Hughes (1832-1915). Sydney produced a series of 100 ‘Oxford Sketches’ 1864–1866, illustrating topical events in the life of the university. Although a talented painter in oils and in watercolours, exhibiting at the Dudley Gallery; Grosvenor Gallery; Liverpool Walker Art Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery; New Gallery; Royal Society of Portrait Painters; Royal Academy; the Royal Institute of Water Colour Artist and the Royal Hiberian Academy between 1875 and 1920, it was as an illustrator that he became best-known and was one of the principal contributors to the illustrated weekly 'The Graphic'. Hall's domestic arrangements were unconventional, for much of the 1870's he lived with Emma Dinah (1845-1894), daughter of cellarman John Holland, at 39 Birkbeck Road, Islington, London. On 30 September 1873, their, Reginald Holland (Harry) Hall was born, who later was assistant keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities at the British Museum. However they later married at Islington register office, on 14 January 1877, when living at 3 Pyrland Villas, Calverley Grove. Among Hall's many pencil drawings in the National Portrait Gallery are studies of Charles Bradlaugh, John Bright, Joseph Chamberlain, Michael Davitt, William Ewart Gladstone, Charles Stewart Parnell and Oscar Wilde. He painted a number of portraits of the royal family and in 1901, Hall was a member of the suite of the Duke and Duchess of York, on board HMS Ophir and that year was created a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. His wife Emma died in 1894 and he married secondly on 4 August 1906, Mary Lightbody (25 December 1851–27 May 1929), daughter of painter James Gow, and artist Andrew Carrick Gow (1848–1920) was her brother. Mary Gow was also a painter, mostly producing figures and genre in watercolours. Sydney Prior Hall died at his London home, 36 Grove End Road, St John's Wood, on 15 December 1922.

Works by This Artist