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William Hayley

1 of 6 portraits of William Hayley

William Hayley, by Henry Howard, circa 1800 -NPG 662 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

William Hayley

by Henry Howard
circa 1800
7 1/2 in. x 5 7/8 in. (191 mm x 149 mm)
NPG 662

This portraitback to top

Henry Howard was a friend of both Flaxman and Haley with whom he stayed frequently at Eartham. When Hayley's son Tom ('The Young Sculptor') was dying in 1800, Howard made a drawing of his profile by Flaxman and this was engraved by Blake as an illustration to one of the Ballads.
Howard's portrait of Hayley himself is of about this date. Hayley's will, quoted at some length by Bishop (Morchard Bishop, Blake's Hayley, 1951, pp 344-5), does not appear to specify a legatee though it possibly went to Hayley's cousin, Captain John Godfrey, who inherited the family portraits. However, Sir Theodore Martin says it belonged to Flaxman and hung on his wall until his death in 1826 (letter to Scharf 19 August 1882 in NPG archive), whence it probably passed to Maria Denman, Flaxman's residuary legatee.
Sir Theodore Martin, the donor, gave the NPG at the same time Howard's portrait of James Watt on a similar sized panel, NPG 663.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders slightly to left in a high-collared brown coat, scarlet waistcoat striped with brown, white neckcloth and shirt-frill; dark hazel eyes, dark angular eyebrows, grey-powdered hair, dark complexion; plain greyish-brown background.

Provenanceback to top

John Flaxman; Maria Denman (or Captain Godfrey); Sir Theodore Martin and given by him in 1882.

Exhibitionsback to top

'Art Treasures', Wrexham, c.1880 (label in registered packet in NPG archive).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for William Hayley

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