Edwin Hayes, R. I.

(7 June 1819 - 7 Nov. 1904)

English and Irish marine artist who painted in oil and watercolours. Hayes was born in Bristol, England but brought up in Dublin, Ireland where his father was a hotelier. He studied art at the Dublin Society Art School and first exhibited his work at the R. H.A. (Royal Hibernian Academy) in 1842. He remained in Dublin for ten years before moving to London. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, British Institution, Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, becoming a full member of the latter in 1863.

Hayes painted seascapes in Ireland, England, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain and Italy, his work inevitably featuring ships and boats in high seas, harbour scenes or other aspects of the coastline.

His son Claude Hayes, R. I., R. O. I., (1852–1922) was also a notable landscape and portrait painter.


EDWIN HAYES, marine painter, born at Bristol on 7 June 1819, was son of Charles Hayes, an Irishman. After education at a private school in Dublin, he studied art at the Kildare Street School of Art, Dublin, where he was a fellow pupil of John Henry Foley [q. v.], the sculptor, and he subsequently served an apprenticeship to Telbin, the scene painter, in London. From the first, however, his ambition was to be a marine painter. He spent much time in a 10-ton yacht in the Irish Channel, drawing and sketching. A little later he improved his knowledge of the ocean by taking a trip as steward in a barque called the Mary Campbell across the Atlantic to Mobile. Returning to Dublin to pursue his art, he exhibited his first picture, 'A Scene at Ryde,' at the British Institution. The picture was well hung and quickly sold. In 1845, he showed his first painting at the Royal Academy, London; and he exhibited there every year until 1904, except 1864, 1867, 1882, and 1887. He was elected a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1870, and was a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours. His subjects were always maritime, the most noteworthy of his pictures being 'Off Dover,' 'Saved' (1891), and 'Crossing the Bar' (1895). He is represented in the Tate Gallery by 'Sunset at Sea,' from Harlyn Bay, Cornwall (1894), bought by the Chantrey Bequest Trustees in 1896, and in public galleries at Bristol, Liverpool, Melbourne, and Sydney.

The 'Sunset at Sea' in the Tate Gallery is Hayes's only picture in which the subject was simply sky and sea and nothing else. It was his habit to introduce shipping or boats. His work, which reflected elements in the style of Stanfield, was not strikingly original, nor was it fine in colour like that of Henry Moore, but Hayes painted with the vision of a sailor and possessed a sailor's knowledge and experience. He died on 7 Nov. 1904 at Bayswater, London, and was buried in the Kensal Green cemetery. He married in 1847 Ellen, youngest daughter of James Briscoe of Carrick-on-Suir. Of his eleven children, Mr. Claude Hayes, R. I., a well-known landscape painter, has exhibited at the Royal Academy since 1876. Hayes's portrait was painted by John Parker.

[Mag. of Art, May 1901 ; M.A.P., 19 Nov. 1904; The Times, 9 Nov. 1904; Graves's Royal Acad. Exhibitors, 1906; Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement, by Frank W. Gibson

Hayes, Edwin. (Brit.) A native of Ireland, he is a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy, but has resided for some years in London, belonging to the Institute of Painters in Water-Colors, and contributing frequently to its exhibitions, chiefly marine views, among others, "Dutch Boats on the Scheldt," "A Fresh Gale off St. Ives, Cornwall," "Adrift," " Fishing Lugger getting under Way," "French Fishing Luggers, Ostend," "Fresh Breeze off Portsmouth Harbor," etc. Among his works in oil are, "Dutch Pinks returning to Katwyke from the Doggerbank," "Over the Bar," "The Lively Polly," and many more sent to the Royal Academy, the Royal Scottish and Royal Hibernian Academies, and elsewhere. His "North Sea Trawlers leaving Great Yarmouth" was at the Paris Exposition of 1878.

Artists of the Nineteenth Century, their Work & Biographical Sketches, Clara Erskine Clement & Laurence Hutton, 1879.

View painter's art: David Farquharson (1840-1907)

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