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'Man on Horseback' by Luke Frederick Hall

'Man on Horseback' by Luke Frederick Hall

Oil on panel

Panel size: 12 x 14 ins

Signed 'Fred Hall' (lower right)



Private Collection, United Kingdom


  • Biography

    Frederick Hall was born in Stillington, Yorkshire on 6 February 1860, the son of Dr. Frederick Hall, a medical practitioner, and his wife Mary Adelaide née Yates. He studied art at the Lincoln School of Art from 1879-1881, before moving on to study under Michel Marie Charles Verlag (1824-1890) in Antwerp.


    Often known as, and signing his work as, Fred Hall, an English impressionist painter of landscapes, rustic subjects, and portraits. He was a member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club from 1885-1888, exhibiting from Wratby, Lincolnshire in 1885. Around 1888, he became a member of the Newlyn School in Cornwall, living at Faugan House, Faugan Lane in Newlyn. Here, he joined fellow ex-Lincoln School of Art student, Frank Bramley (1857-1915), and remained until 1898. During this time, Hall is notable for both his series of witty caricatures of his fellow Newlyn artists, including Frank Bramley, Stanhope Forbes (1857-1947), and Norman Garstin (1847-1926), and his artistic development away from the strict realism of the Newlyn School towards impressionism.


    He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1886 onward and at the Paris Salon, winning gold there in 1912. Hall also exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists on Suffolk Street, London, the Grosvenor Gallery, the New Gallery, and the New English Art Club, but resigned from the latter in 1890.


    He interpreted his surroundings with a light touch and a realistic approach. He spent considerable time in Newlyn painting ‘en plein air’. He became enveloped in the social circle of the other artists who lived there and was inspired by the fantastic light that the English coast offered.


    His ‘The Goose‘ (1888) was exhibited at the Royal Academy 1888 exhibition and was described by ‘The Ipswich Journal‘ as being clever and powerful, while ‘The Leeds Mercury‘ called it humorous and ‘The Graphic‘ ‘broadly-comic’ and ‘eccentric in composition, even grotesque’. The ‘Morning Post’ commended ‘The Adversity’ (1889) for its eloquence and harmony of subject and landscape when exhibited at the Royal Academy in May 1889.


    During the 1890s, he spent less time in Newlyn, painting instead around Porlock on the Somerset coast. There he painted subjects that were more overtly social realist in content, with titles like ‘Adversity’. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the New English Art Club, the Fine Art Society, and the Paris Salon, where he won a gold medal.


    Hall later developed a keen interest in cartoons and caricatures and began to draw for ‘The Graphic’, ‘Black and White, and ‘The Sketch’, establishing friendships with other notable illustrators.


    Following his marriage in 1898, Hall moved around quite often, finally settling at Speen near Newbury, Berkshire in 1911.


    Suzanne Lodge, Fred Hall (1860-1948), Oil Paintings of the Countryside, Exhibition catalog at the Fry Gallery, London April - May 1975:

    'Steady unpretentiousness characterizes his art. In painting technique, he was not ruled by academic niceties of brushwork: when it suited him, he painted with amazing fluency, producing surfaces of great beauty. In a different mood, he could maltreat the oil colors, deliberately squashing impastoed areas, thinning the medium drastically, or even improving the painted surface with a greasy crayon. He was somewhat ahead of his time in adding to the traditional medium, and forcing it to serve his own ends: this also represents a break with his artistic background.'

    His works have been exhibited frequently in London at the Royal Academy, the Grosvenor Gallery, the New Gallery, the Merton Galleries and the Fry Gallery. He has also exhibited in Paris and Venice.

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