Tuesday, May 16, 2017

1735 Francis Hayman's (1708-1776) Vauxhall Paintings - The Humrous Farce of Jobson and Nell

Vauxhall The Humrous Farce of Jobson and Nell; print after Francis Hayman

William Hogarth (1697-1764) was an English artist, pictorial satirist, and social critic who probably conferred with Vauxhall Gardens owner Jonathan Tyers about using contemporary visual art in his garden decorations. Hogarth had established the St Martin's Lane school of art in 1735, training painters, sculptors, architects and designers. Hogarth introduced Tyers to his close associate, the theatrical scene painter Francis Hayman (1708-1776). 
Theatrical scene painter Francis Hayman (1708-1776).  Francis Hayman was an English painter born in Exeter, who began his artistic career as a scene painter in London's Drury Lane Theatre. He was influenced by the French Rococo style & achieved some acclaim during the 1740s for decorative paintings executed for the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens. Some of his Vauxhall paintings were of Shakespearean scenes. He contributed 31 pictures to a 1744 edition of Shakespeare's plays by Sir Thomas Hanmer.  In the 1760s, Hayman was once again commissioned by Jonathan Tyers, proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens and the Denbies estate, to paint a series of large-scale history paintings depicting British victories in the Seven Years' War. Hayman became Tyers's artistic director for several decades, designing painted decorations for each of the 50 or more "supper-boxes" created within the colonnades that bordered the Grove, and producing at least 8 large oil paintings to decorate 2 of Tyers's main buildings – 4 Shakespearean scenes in the Prince's Pavilion, plus 4 huge canvases of British victories in the Seven Years' War in the Pillared Saloon. All of these paintings were intended to show aspects of the British way of life – its rural games; its theater & literature; its urban amusements; its traditions; and its military prowess. Many of these pleasure garden paintings also carried a concealed moral message.