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Brian Hatton (1887-1916)

Brian was born in Hereford and he spent most of his childhood and early adult life there. Brian lived with his family in Whitecross and later Broomy Hill, Hereford. As a young child he made remarkable drawings, which showed his natural artistic ability. His parents, Amelia and Alfred, encouraged his talent. In 1898, at the age of eleven he was awarded the ‘Gold Star’ by the Royal Drawing Society. Following this the artist GF Watts took a keen interest in his development as an artist and became his mentor. Brian’s younger sisters, Ailsa Marr (b.1893) and Marjorie (b.1895), became the subject of many of his works. Brian suffered from asthma as a boy and spent periods of time in Swansea for health reasons. As a young man, he travelled at home and abroad. In 1908, he travelled to Egypt as part of the Petrie expedition.  He continued to love Herefordshire, where his work was inspired by local people and places. On his travels and later as a soldier, he recorded the people and places around him.

Brian had a studio in London, where he began his professional career as a portrait painter. Tragically, Brian was killed in action in Egypt, whilst serving with the Worcester Yeomanry, in the First World War. He died on 23rd April, 1916. He left a wife, Lydia May and a daughter, Mary Amelia (b.1915). Had he not belonged to the generation who fought in the First World War, Brian may have become known as a talented artist.

During his life, he created over 1000 art works including, oil paintings, watercolours, and pencil and pastel drawings, together with a small number of prints. His subjects included: landscape views, horses and other animals, agricultural activities and country people. He also drew imaginative subjects inspired by literature. When he began to accept commissions, he painted portraits, some of which were of local people.

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