Hurlstone, Frederick Yeates (DNB00)

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HURLSTONE, FREDERICK YEATES (1800–1869), portrait and historical painter, born in London in 1800, was the eldest son by his second marriage of Thomas Y. Hurlstone, one of the proprietors of the 'Morning Chronicle.' He began life in the office of that journal, but while still very young became a pupil of Sir William Beechey, and afterwards studied under Sir Thomas Lawrence, and also, it is said, under Haydon. His first original work was an altar-piece, painted in 1816, for which he received 20l. In 1820 he was admitted a student of the Royal Academy, where in 1822 he gained the silver medal for the best copy made in the school of painting, and in 1823 the gold medal for historical painting, the subject being 'The Contention between the Archangel Michael and Satan for the Body of Moses.' He first exhibited in 1821, sending to the Royal Academy 'Le Malade Imaginaire' and to the British Institution a 'View near Windsor.' These were followed at the Academy in 1822 by 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' and a portrait, in 1823 by five portraits, and in 1824 by his 'Archangel Michael' and some more portraits. One of his best early works was 'A Venetian Page with a Parrot,' exhibited at the British Institution in 1824, and now in the gallery of the Duke of Westminster. In 1824 also he contributed 'The Bandit Chief to the first exhibition of the Society of British Artists. He continued to send portraits to the Royal Academy until 1830, but in 1831 he was elected a member of the Society of British Artists, after which he seldom exhibited elsewhere. He was chosen president in 1835, and again in 1840, retaining the office until his death. He contributed to the society's exhibitions upwards of three hundred portraits and other works, among them being 'The Enchantress Armida,' exhibited in 1831, and now in the gallery of the Earl of Ellesmere; 'Haidee aroused from her Trance by the sound of Music,' 1834; 'Eros,' 1836, now belonging to the Marquis of Lansdowne; 'Italian Boys playing at the National Game of Mora' and the ' Prisoner of Chillon,' the latter purchased by the Earl of Tankerville, 1837; The Scene in St. Peter's, Rome, from Byron's Deformed Transformed,' 1839; 'The Convent of St. Isidore: the Monks giving away provisions,' 1841; and a 'Scene in a Spanish Posada in Andalusia,' 1843. In 1844 and, for the last time, in 1845 he again sent portraits to the Academy. His subsequent works at the Society of British Artists included 'The Sons of Jacob bringing the blood-stained garment of Joseph to their Father,' 1844; 'Salute, Signore,' 1845; 'A Girl of Sorrento at a Well,' 1847, belonging to the Earl of Ellesmere; 'Inhabitants of the Palace of the Cæsars—Rome in the Nineteenth Century' 1850; `Columbus asking Alms at the Convent of La Rabida' 1853; 'The Last Sigh of the Moor' ('Boabdil el Chico, mourning over the Fall of Granada, reproached by his Mother'), 1854; and 'Margaret of Anjou and Edward, Prince of Wales, in the wood on their flight after the Battle of Hexham,' 1860. Besides these may be noted 'The Eve of the Land which is still Paradise' in the collection of the Earl of Ellesmere, and 'Constance and Prince Arthur'.

His later works, which were much inferior to those of his earlier years, consisted mainly of Spanish and Italian rustic and fancy subjects, the outcome of several visits to Italy, Spain, and Morocco, made between 1835 and 1854. As a portrait-painter he was successful, one of his best heads being that of Richard, seventh earl of Cavan, exhibited at the Society of British Artists in 1833, and again, together with that of General Sir John MacLeod, at the National Portrait Exhibition of 1868. He was always much opposed to the constitution and management of the Royal Academy, and gave evidence before the select committee of the House of Commons in 1836. He was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1855, the works which he sent being 'La Mora' 'Boabdil' and 'Constance and Arthur.' Eleven of his best works were re-exhibited at the Society of British Artists in 1870.

Hurlstone died at 9 Chester Street, Belgrave Square, London, on 10 June 1869, in his sixty-ninth year, and was buried in Norwood cemetery. He married, in 1836, Miss Jane Coral, who exhibited some watercolour drawings and portraits at the Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists between 1846 and 1850, but from 1850 to 1856 she contributed to the latter exhibition only fancy subjects in oil-colours. She died on 2 Oct. 1858, leaving issue two sons, one of whom was also an artist.

[Art Journal, 1869, p. 271; Register, 1869, ii. 91; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1821-50; British Institution Exhibition Catalogues (Living Artists), 1821-42; Exhibition Catalogues of the Society of British Artists, 1824-70.]

R. E. G.