Hardy, Frederic Daniel (DNB12)

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HARDY, FREDERIC DANIEL (1827–1911), painter of domestic subjects, born at Windsor on 13 Feb. 1827, was son of George Hardy, a musician to George IV, Queen Adelaide, and Queen Victoria, who showed some taste for painting. The eldest brother also, George Hardy (1822–1909), was a painter of domestic subjects, especially cottage interiors. Brought up to the musical profession, Frederic soon abandoned music for painting, in which his eldest brother instructed him. In 1851 he began to exhibit at the Royal Academy and British Institution small but highly finished interiors with figures. Careful detail was combined with breadth and refinement. He excelled in depicting cottage interiors, reproducing the surfaces of walls and brick floors with notable effect. His work soon became popular. He exhibited ninety-three pictures at the Academy between 1851 and 1898, five at the British Institution, and a few at other galleries. High prices were paid for his pictures at sales. 'A Quartette Party' fetched 810 guineas at Christie's in 1873, and 'Reading the Will' 550 guineas in 1877. Other of his works were 'A Christmas Party' (1857), 'The Foreign Guest' (1859), 'Coal Heavers' (1865), 'The Late Arrival' (1873), 'Fatherless' (1876), 'A Music Party' (1879), and 'The Pet Lamb' (1888). He also painted a few portraits. 'Still Life' (1852) and 'Sunday Afternoon' (cottage interiors) are at the Victoria and Albert Museum; 'Children Playing at Doctors' (1863) at the Bethnal Green Museum; 'Try This Pair' and 'Little Helpers' at the Corporation Art Gallery, Guildhall, London; 'Interior of a Sussex Farmhouse' at the Leicester Corporation Art Gallery; 'Expectation' (interior of a cottage with mother and children, 1854) at the Royal Hollo way College, Egham; eighteen pictures, of which two only; 'Baby's Birthday' (1867) and 'A Misdeal' (1877) are dated, at the Municipal Art Gallery, Wolverhampton; and 'Tragedy' (four feet by six feet), lifesize figures in the box of a theatre (1880) at the City Art Gallery, Leeds.

On leaving Windsor, about 1852, Hardy after a short residence at Snell's Wood, near Amersham, Buckinghamshire, settled about 1854 at Cranbrook, Kent, where his brother George and his friends Thomas Webster, R.A. [q. v.], who was related to Hardy's mother, John Callcott Horsley, R.A. [q. V. Suppl. II], George Henry Boughton, A.R.A. [q. v. Suppl. II], and G. B. O'Neill also worked. Like Webster, he had a studio in the house known as the 'Old Studio' in the High Street. About 1875 he moved to Kensington but returned to Cranbrook about 1893. He died at 1 Waterloo Place, Cranbrook, on 1 April 1911, and was buried by the side of his wife in St. Dunstan's churchyard. He married on 11 March 1852 Rebecca Sophia (d. 1906), daughter of William Dorrofield, of Chorley Wood, by whom he had five sons and one daughter.

[Private information; A. G. Temple, The Art of Painting, 302, 303; Ottley, Dict.; Graves, Dict. of Artists, Roy. Acad, and British Institution Exhibitors; Redford, Art Sales, ii. 49–50; J. C. Horsley, Recollections of a Royal Academician, p. 338.]

B. S. L.