James Hayllar RBA

Sunday Go-To-Meeting Togs

Regular price £2,995.00
Unit price
per 

James Hayllar RBA

Sunday Go-To-Meeting Togs

Regular price £2,995.00
Unit price
per 
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This late 19th-century oil painting by British artist James Hayllar (1829-1920) depicts an elderly woman standing by a flight of stairs while brushing a top hat. It was shown at an exhibition of The Society of British Artists at Suffolk Street, London, in 1880 and referred to in the British press.

A leaded window with decorative stained glass brightly illuminates undulant wooden stairs. The light, carefully observed, cascades down to old stone. At the foot, attired in widow’s weeds, a doting grandmother attends to a top hat. It’s a familiar scene within a remarkably loving home.

When Hayllar produced this, he was residing at Castle Priory, a large manor house in Wallingford on the River Thames. He painted here often, as did several of his daughters. The lady shown is probably his mother Mary Ann Hayllar who appears in numerous works by the family.

The title, which is inscribed on the reverse, suggests that the family are heading for church dressed in their Sunday best or ‘go-to-meeting togs’. Mary Ann was known to pop in and was widowed some years earlier.

Hayllar began his career as a portraitist having trained with Francis Stephen Cary who also taught Millais and Rossetti. But he gained greater acclaim for his homely genre scenes, which capture a fascinating glimpse of Victorian middle-class life.

Beyond his art, he was also keen to develop the skills of others. Working tirelessly for his local communities in Wallingford and later Bournemouth.

This is a fine example of his work.

Signed/dated held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 36” x 42½” / 91cm x 108cm
Year of creation: 1880
Labels & Inscriptions: Exhibition label on reverse.
Provenance: Private collection, England.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Gallery condition. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £35,000

James Hayllar RBA

James Hayllar RBA

James Hayllar was a British artist predominantly known for his charming domestic scenes with figures. He was also an accomplished portraitist and trained at the Royal Academy. Regarded as an amiable man, he played an active role in the development of the arts in his local community, particularly in Wallingford and Bournemouth. Four of his daughters, Edith, Jessica, Mary and Kate, all became artists of merit.

Various public collections hold examples of his work, including the V&A in London and the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Learn more about James Hayllar RBA in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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