Hal Hurst was born Henry William Lowe Hurst in London, the son of Henry Hurst, a well-known publisher and globetrotter. Following an education at St Paul’s School in London, Hal moved to the US where he became an illustrator for newspapers in New York and Philadelphia.

Upon returning to Europe, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools and the The Académie Julian in Paris, while also exhibiting widely. His achievements include being elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He also illustrated over 20 books and his illustrations featured in Punch, Harper's Weekly and Vanity Fair.

At auction his works have fetched up to £2,706.