ANN HAYTER (1795-1854)

The painter Charles Hayter (1761-1835) and his wife Martha (Stevenson) (1762-1805) had ten children, of whom George (1792-1871), their third child and eldest surviving son , was the most famous; he also was a painter, favoured by Queen Victoria and knighted in 1841.  Ann was the fourth child, the eldest daughter, and the only daughter still alive in 1821 (three others died in 1802, 1805, and 1819).   This means that she can with some certainty be identified as ‘Miss Hayter’.  The spelling ‘Ann’ (rather than ‘Anne’ ) is preferred; that is the form used by Charles Hayter in his book An Introduction to Perspective, adapted to the capacities of youth, in a series of pleasing and familiar dialogues, between the author’s children (1813), of which this forms the unusual frontispiece:

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thus giving us a view of the backs of Charles’s children John, Eliza (Elizabeth), and Ann, respectively 13, 17, and 18 in 1813; it purports to be drawn by George.  John was responsible for later editions of the book, including the sixth edition of 1845, which has this as its frontispiece:

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which, though charming in its way, must be assumed to be imaginary rather than taken from life.

Ann was born on 31 January 1795 and achieved some distinction as a painter, following in her father’s footsteps by specialising in miniature portraits. She exhibited twelve works at the Royal Academy between 1814 and 1830, fourteen works at the Royal Society of British Artists between 1824 and 1830, and two works at the Society of Painters in Oil and Watercolours in 1817 and 1820.  There is no record of her in artistic circles after 1830, for the simple reason that in that year, on 18 September at All Souls Church, St Marylebone, she married Captain Daniel George Duff of the 16th Bombay Native Infantry. She died in Bombay in 1854, apparently of cholera. Lt-Col Duff, as he by then was, died two years later.

What cannot be overlooked is the fact that the painting of Great Totham church has a rather naive quality, and does not appear to be the work of an accomplished artist who, in 1821, had had work selected for the most important exhibitions in London.  There are two answers to this.  The first is that she was a portrait painter, used to working on a small scale, and none of her exhibited works appear to be landscapes.  The second is that she would have been working in a very unfamiliar way, using unconventional paints on thin cloth rather than canvas or ivory — the latter being the support preferred by her father Charles.  These two factors might be enough to account for this painting not showing Ann at her best.

[Biographical information taken from http://histfam.familysearch.org/getperson.php?personID=I256781&tree=Nixon and http://www.gritquoy.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I139482&tree=001Master; there are some discrepanices between the two sources.]

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