Sydney Prior Hall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sydney Prior Hall
Sydney Prior Hall, self-portrait, 1895
Sydney Prior Hall, self-portrait, 1895
Born(1842-10-18)18 October 1842
Died15 December 1922(1922-12-15) (aged 80)
Known forIllustrator, Portrait painter, Children's Literature
Emma Holland
(m. 1877)
(m. 1907)
ChildrenHenry R. H. Hall

Sydney Prior Hall MVO, MA (18 October 1842 – 15 December 1922)[1] was a British portrait painter and illustrator[2] and one of the leading reportage artists of the later Victorian period.

The son of animal portraitist Harry Hall,[3] Sydney Hall was educated at Merchant Taylors' School.[4] He decided on a career as an artist while at Oxford University and joined the staff of The Graphic, an illustrated newspaper, shortly after its foundation in late 1869. He immediately established his name with a series of vivid drawings made at the front during the Franco-Prussian War.[5]

As stated in the contemporary publication The Art Journal, his drawings of the Parnell Commission were among his finest achievements in the medium of graphic journalism: "he was in court the whole time, busy with a swift revealing pencil which missed no turn of affairs."[5]

He illustrated a number of books including Tom Brown's School Days (MacMillan, 1885), and Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes.

Hall married Emma Holland (1846/7–1894), in 1877; the couple had already produced a son, Henry R. H. Hall (1873-1930), who became assistant keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities at the British Museum. Following the death of his first wife, Hall married the painter Mary Gow (1851–1929), in 1907. Hall died at his home in London on 15 December 1922.[6]



  1. ^ Pottle, Mark (2004). "Hall, Sydney Prior". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Hall, Sydney Prior". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 763.
  3. ^ Biography of Harry Hall Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine at (Accessed 9 August 2008), derived from:
    Christopher Wood (Ed.), The Dictionary of Victorian Painters ISBN 0-902028-72-3 & ISBN 978-0-902028-72-2 (Antique Collectors' Club Ltd, 1978); and
    Sally Mitchell (Ed.), The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists ISBN 0-907462-42-1 & ISBN 978-0-907462-42-2 (Antique Collectors' Club Ltd, 1985).
  4. ^ Minchin, J. C. G., Our public schools, their influence on English history; Charter house, Eton, Harrow, Merchant Taylors', Rugby, St. Paul's Westminster, Winchester (London, 1901), p. 195.
  5. ^ a b Sydney Prior Hall (1842-1922), Portrait painter and illustrator at
  6. ^ Pottle, ODNB.

External links[edit]