James Hayllar

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James Hayllar (1829–1920) was an English genre, portrait and landscape painter.

Life and work[edit]

Hayllar was born in Chichester in Sussex (now West Sussex), and received his training in art at Cary's Art Academy in London; he painted Cary's portrait in 1851.[1] He went on to study at the Royal Academy.

Hayllar travelled in Italy from 1851–53.[2] He was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1850–98, and also showed work at the British Institution and the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) - of which he was a member.[3] He first became known as a portrait painter but later turned his brush to genre art, often featuring pretty young girls (see illustration); his work became very popular. With George Dunlop Leslie (who also lived in Wallingford at the same time), he painted a large portrait of Queen Victoria to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in 1887 - the painting now hangs in Wallingford Town Hall.[4]

He married Edith Phoebe Cavell (1827–1899), the aunt of Edith Cavell - the famous British nurse who was to be shot by the Germans for "treason" during World War I. They lived at a house called "Castle Priory"[5] in Wallingford on the River Thames in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire) from 1875–99; scenes from village life in the area often featured in his work there. The couple went on to have 9 children, of whom four became recognised artists (see below). After the death of his wife in 1899, he moved to Bournemouth.[6][7]


Hayllar had four sons and five daughters, four of whom, Edith Hayllar (1860–1948),[8][9] Jessica Hayllar (1858–1940),[10] Mary Hayllar (1863–c. 1950),[11] and Kate Hayllar (fl. 1883–1900), became notable artists in their own right; all received their training from their father and exhibited at the Royal Academy.[7]


  1. ^ Portrait of Francis Stephen Cary by James Hayllar.
  2. ^ Short biography (John Noott Galleries).
  3. ^ Short biography (Burlington Paintings).
  4. ^ Wallingford Town hall.
  5. ^ Castle Priory was built in 1759 for Judge William Blackstone - see "Sites" (Wallingford history gateway).
  6. ^ Biography (Oil on canvas, 1875 - Christie's).
  7. ^ a b Biographies of the Hayllar family (Wallingford History Gateway).
  8. ^ Edith hayllar online (ArtCyclopedia).
  9. ^ Edith Hayllar (Clara database of women artists).
  10. ^ Works by Jessica Hayllar (Art Renewal Center)
  11. ^ Mary Hayllar (Leicester Galleries)

Further reading[edit]

  • Wood, Christopher. Victorian Painters, the text (Antique Collectors' Club, 1995) p. 235 ff.
  • Wilder, Anthony. Victorian artists of Wallingford: A Tale of Two Dynasties - The Hayllar & Leslie Families (Pie Powder Press, 2006).

External links[edit]