Hal Hurst RBA RI
This work comes from a folio of large-scale watercolours, aquatints and etchings by the distinguished painter and printmaker Hal Hurst, R.B.A, R.I, R.O.I, H.R.M.S (1865-1938).
Born Henry Hurst, Hal was the son of the well-known African explorer (and later publisher) Henry Hurst senior. His first foray into the art world came when he was commissioned to produce a series of drawings and illustrations that depicted the political instability in Ireland in the late-nineteenth century. He then travelled to the United States, where he worked as an illustrator for newspapers in New York and Philadelphia. Returning to Europe, he exhibited widely in major London galleries, and he was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1896.Though Hal Hurst was a founder member and Vice President of the Royal Miniature Society, many of the works in our collection show a boldness and scale that is unusual in printmaking. The dramatic nature of his subjects is often heightened by use of deep shadow, and hand-colouring.
Looking at these striking and varied works, it should come as no surprise to learn that Hal Hurst was a prolific illustrator of books and periodicals, including Punch, Vanity Fair, the Idler and the Illustrated London News, and that he was able to turn his hand to a very wide range of subject matter and style.