Francis Hayman, the sculptural painter

Sacrifice to Apollo, from the Arch of Constantine, by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Sacrifice to Apollo, from the Arch of Constantine, by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

A group of five grisaille paintings by Francis Hayman (1708-76) at Blickling Hall is currently undergoing conservation treatment.

The Blickling Haymans being treated. ©National Trust

The Blickling Haymans being treated. ©National Trust

Conservators Sally Woodcock and Polly Saltmarsh are consolidating and cleaning the surface of the pictures, filling in surface cracks and strengthening their frames. The work has been funded by the Ashford Trust and the Norfolk National Trust Centre.

Mercury delivering a message to Jupiter and Juno, with Neptune in attendance, from an antique relief in the Museo Angelonio, by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National Trust, images supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Mercury delivering a message to Jupiter and Juno, with Neptune in attendance, from an antique relief in the Museo Angelonio, by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National Trust, images supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Hayman was a versatile artist who produced portraits, history paintings, pictures showing scenes from plays and decorative works such as this group.

The Emperor Trajan sacrificing to Mars Victorious (from the Arch of Constantine), by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

The Emperor Trajan sacrificing to Mars Victorious (from the Arch of Constantine), by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

His biggest commission was to paint about fifty pictures to decorate the pavilions and supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, the popular pleasure grounds on the south bank of the river Thames.

Portrait of the sculptor Peter Scheemakers (1691–1781), by Francis Hayman, at the Royal College of Physicians, London. ©Royal College of Physicians, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of the sculptor Peter Scheemakers (1691–1781), by Francis Hayman, at the Royal College of Physicians, London. ©Royal College of Physicians, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

The Blickling pictures had a similar decorative function, but hung in the private space of the library.

Portrait of Jonathan Tyers and his family, by Francis Hayman, in the National Portrait Gallery, London. ©National Portrait Gallery

Portrait of Jonathan Tyers and his family, by Francis Hayman, in the National Portrait Gallery, London. ©National Portrait Gallery

Sculpture seems to have been a recurring motif in Hayman’s work: he painted portraits of several sculptors and he included sculptural elements in his other works too.

Figures crowning a statue of Hercules (from the Arch of Constantine), by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Figures crowning a statue of Hercules (from the Arch of Constantine), by Francis Hayman, at Blickling Hall. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

The Blickling grisailles will be on view again from the second half of May.

6 Responses to “Francis Hayman, the sculptural painter”

  1. Princess of Eboli History Masquerade Says:

    I like this page!!!! <3

  2. Robert M. Kelly Says:

    Why do all these painting subjects have such wonderfully shaped bodies? I want abs like that!

  3. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Indeed! And what better way to add a frisson of physicality to the intellectual delights of a library? :)

    And I have just read in the Blickling guidebook that at same time that Hayman was commissioned to do these pictures for the library, John Cheere provided 28 busts, 20 vases and three statues (probably all of plaster), so there would have been an interesting resonance between ‘sculpture’ in two and three dimensions. All this was to make the room fit to receive the Ellys collection of 10,000 books, which the first Earl of Buckinghamshire inherited in 1745.

  4. Joe Rock Says:

    Interesting to compare these with the use of the same source at Moray House in Edinburgh. I have yet to complete my work on this room but it now appears to have been in place by 1711. I attribute the work there to Roderick Chalmers as an example of ‘imitation tapestry’.

    https://sites.google.com/site/joerocksresearchpages/home/decorated-room-at-moray-house

  5. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Joe, how fascinating, thanks very much for that. I will let the colleagues at Blickling and curator Mike Sutherill know.

    • Joe Rock Says:

      Thinking about this further, Moray house is beside the Canongate Concert Hall, the theatre built by Richard Cooper senior (1701-1764) for the Company of Comedians in 1746, in his own garden.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 797 other followers

%d bloggers like this: