Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Arthur Hacker (1858-1919), Painter

Hacker’s exhibiting career covered four main areas: neo-classical and biblical subjects, including female nudes; North African scenes; foggy London townscapes; and portraiture. To one contemporary he was ‘that delightful painter of pretty women’,[1] but his best-known canvas is The Annunciation (1892, Tate) bought for the Chantrey Bequest. At his death, opinion was divided regarding his work. One commentator described it as facile, brilliantly coloured and popularly sentimental,[2] while another observed that ‘in his own particular style [Hacker] was unsurpassed: one always looked for outstanding originality in his work.’[3] By 2004 it had become ‘long overdue for re-assessment’.[4]

In his younger days his appearance was notable for the ‘great stack of curly hair, standing up’ from his forehead.[5]

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Furniss 1923, p.172.
2) Borenius 1927a.
3) Fea 1927, p.211.
4) Reynolds 2004a
5) Fea 1927, p.211.

Referencesback to top

Anon. 1894
Anon., ‘New Associates of the Royal Academy’, Illustrated London News, 27 January 1894, p.111.

Borenius 1927a
Borenius, T., ‘Hacker, Arthur (1858–1919)’, DNB, Oxford, 1927.

Fea 1927:
Fea, A., Recollections of Sixty Years, London 1927.;

Furniss 1923
Furniss, H., Some Victorian Women: Good, Bad and Indifferent, London, 1923.

S. Reynolds 2004a
Reynolds, S., ‘Hacker, Arthur (1858–1919)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Wilson 1902
Wilson, W.L., The Imperial Gallery of Portraiture and Biographical Encyclopaedia, London, 1902.