Michael Frederick Halliday

(1822 - 1 June, 1869)

Amateur artist, son of a captain in the navy, was from 1839 until his death clerk in the parliament office, House of Lords. He cultivated a taste for painting in later years with much energy and fair success. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1853 a view of ‘Moel Siabod from the Capel Curig Road’. In 1856 he exhibited ‘The Measure for the Wedding Ring,’ and two scenes from the Crimean war; the former attracted much notice and was engraved. He exhibited in 1857 ‘The Sale of a Heart,’ in 1858 ‘The Blind Basket-maker with his First Child,’ in 1864 ‘A Bird in the Hand,’ and in 1866 ‘ Roma vivente e Roma morta’. He contributed an etching of ‘The Plea of the Midsummer Fairies’ to the edition of ‘Hood’s Poems’ published by the Junior Etching Club in 1858. Halliday was one of the earliest members of the pre-Raphaelite school of painting. He was also an enthusiastic volunteer, a first-rate rifle-shot, and one of the first English eight who competed for the Elcho Shield at Wimbledon in 1862. He died after a short illness at Thurloe Place, South Kensington, and was buried at Brompton cemetery.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Art Journal, 1869; Athenæum, 12 June 1869; Royal Academy Catalogues; Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, by Lionel Henry Cust.]

Painter, was baptized on 18 May 1822 at Epsom, Surrey, the son of Michael Halliday, a captain in the Royal Navy, and his wife, Jane Hester Slack. From 1839 until his death he was a clerk in the parliament office of the House of Lords.

[Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Lionel Henry Cust and Malcolm Warner.]

Amateur painter, was the son of a captain in the Royal Navy, and held an official post in the House of Lords. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1853, and continued to do so from time to time up to 1866. He died in 1869. Among his best pictures may be mentioned, 'The Measure of the Wedding Ring,' exhibited in 1856; 'The Blind Basket-maker with his first Child,' 1857; and a 'Bird in the Hand,' 1864.

Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, 1876 - Reprinted, 1894, 1899

The death of this gentleman, one of the most successful amateur-artists of the day, occurred on the 1st of June. Mr. Halliday held a lucrative official post in the House of Peers, but acquired considerable reputation in the Art-world by the pictures he occasionally exhibited at the Academy. His earliest work was a landscape, ‘Moel Siabod from the Capel Curig Road,’ exhibited in 1853. Three years afterwards he sent two pictures of quite a different character, incidents of the Crimean" War, -- ‘The Malakhofi from the Mamelon Hill’ and ‘The Great Bedan, from the Fourth Parallel, Left Attack’ and with these was another, ‘The Measure for the Wedding ring,’ a picture which, notwithstanding its strong Pre-Raphaelite tendency, attracted marked attention from its cleverness. In 1857 Mr. Halliday contributed ‘The Sale of a Heart;’ and in the year following ‘The Blind Basket-maker, with his First Child,’ a novel subject treated with appropriate feeling and considerable artistic skill.

Six years elapsed before we again saw anything from Mr. Halliday's pencil: in 1864 he exhibited at the Academy ‘A Bird in the Hand,’ concerning which we wrote at the time: “It merits loving regard by the depth of its poetic feeling, and from the rapturous intensity of its colour". His last exhibited picture, which bore the title of ‘Roma vivente e Roma morte', appeared at the Academy in 1866: the subject is worked out in a highly satisfactory manner, and quite maintained the artist's reputation. Had he given his undivided attention to painting, there is little doubt he would have acquired an elevated position . Halliday belonged to what is professionally known as the Langham-Chambers school.

British Artists: Their Style and Character. The Art Journal, London, 1869.

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