Carter, Hugh (DNB12)

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CARTER, HUGH (1837–1903), painter, was born in Birmingham on 4 March 1837. His father, Samuel Carter, was solicitor to the London and North Western and Midland railway companies, and was at one time M.P. for Coventry. Coming to London, Carter studied for a short time at Heatherley's Art School, and afterwards with J. W. Bottomley, Alexander Johnson, Topham, and John Phillip. He also worked at Diisseldorf under K. F. von Gebhardt. From 1859 to 1902 Carter exhibited twenty-four pictures at the Royal Academy, mostly subject paintings of domestic interest, together with portraits of 'Alexander Blair, LL.D.' (1873 and 1898), 'Sir Joshua Staples, F.S.A.' (1887), and 'Mrs. Worsley Taylor' (1890). Two of his most successful exhibits were 'Music hath Charms' (1872) and 'Card Players' (1873), both representing scenes from Westphalian peasant life. His work was distinguished throughout by delicacy of colour and subtle expression of human character. Much of his best work was done in water-colour and pastel. In those mediums he painted a number of landscapes which displayed a fine sense of colour and atmospheric effect. As a water-colour painter he was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Institute, of which he became an associate in 1871 and a member in 1875. He was also a member of the Institute of Oil Painters from its start in 1883, and latterly of the New English Art Club. At the Tate Gallery he is represented by an oil painting, 'The Last Ray' (1878); in the permanent collection at the Guildhall by 'Hard Times'; and at the Victoria and Albert Museum by two water-colours, 'Buildings and Gondolas at Venice' and 'Interior of the Capuchin Convent at Albano.' His portrait of his uncle, Sir Francis Ronalds [q. v.], the inventor of the first working electric telegraph, is in the National Portrait Gallery. Carter died on 27 Sept. 1903, and was buried at Kensal Green. A memorial exhibition of his works was held at Leighton House in October 1904.

On 7 July 1866 Carter married Maria, daughter of J. W. Bottomley, and had four daughters and two sons, one of whom, Mr. Frank W. Carter, is well known as an artist.

[Graves's Royal Acad. Exhibitors; Catalogue of the National Gallery of British Art; private information.]

M. H.