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 Harry Hall, and his wife, Ellen Ann née Payne who married at Newmarket in 1841. Sydney was 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 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. He was special artist on 'The Graphic' during the Franco-German War 1870-1871, visited India on the Prince of Wales' Tour 1875-1876 and visited Canada in 1879 and 1881. A talented painter in oils and in watercolours, exhibiting at the Dudley Gallery; Grosvenor Gallery; Walker Art Gallery; Manchester City Art Gallery; New Gallery; Royal Society of Portrait Painters; Royal Academy; the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Hibernian 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 1870s he lived with Emma Dinah Holland (1845-1894), daughter of cellarman John Holland, at 39 Birkbeck Road, Islington, London. On 30 September 1873, their son, 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 several 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 in the same year 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, her brother was artist Andrew Carrick Gow (1848–1920). 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.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 39a Queen's Square, Westcentral London
1875 276 Her Majesty Queen Victoria presenting Colours to the 79th Cameron Highlanders
from The Avenue, 71 Fulham Road, Southwest London
1877 251 Ressaldar Sirdar Anoop Sing, Bahadoor
         261 Ressaldar Sirdar Mahomed Afzal Khan, Bahodoor
1878 855 The Prince of Wales with the Gaekwar of Baroda
1879 405 Portrait of Dorothy, daughter of Douglas Arden, Esq.
1882 597 The marriage of H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught
from 13 Chalcot Gardens, England Lane, Northwest London
1891 1642 His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury - etching
1895 363 A Viva Voce: Examinations in the Old Schools, Oxford
1896 1485 Mr Gladstone in his Library at Hawarden Castle - etching
1897 1145 Baptism of Prince Albert of York at Sandringham - watercolour
1898 1474 Her Majesty the Queen on Diamond Jubilee Day - etching
1904 1360 Vice Admiral Lord Charles Beresford - etching
from 7b Elm Tree Road, Northwest London
1910 417 His Grace the Duke of Argyll
         513 H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll presenting Colours
1911 390 H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany
         660 Admiral Sir Frederick Bedford, G.C.B., G.C.M.G.
1912 305 Miss E.M. Osborne
         705 After the unveiling of the Queen Victoria Memorial
1913 112 The Rev. Douglas Macleane
         457 General the Rt.Hon. Sir Dighton Probyn, V.C., G.C.B.
         648 The late Francis Paget, D.D., Bishop of Oxford
1916 451 Far from the Maddening Crowd (so near and yet so far)

Works by This Artist