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Introduction: Artistic Development

A large collection of work by the artist Brian Hatton (1887-1916), is held by Hereford Museum. There are over 1000 paintings and drawings including items such as photographs, painting equipment, and costume. There are oil paintings, watercolours and pencil and pastel drawings, together with a small number of prints. The collection represents a large proportion of what Brian created. It ranges from slight sketches on paper to large oil paintings. Brian’s work covered various themes. 

Brian was born in Hereford and spent most of his childhood and early adult life here. Much of his work reflects the influence of Herefordshire, his home county. Brian lived with his family in Whitecross and later Broomy Hill, Hereford. Very early in life he made remarkable drawings which showed his considerable natural ability. His parents, Amelia and Alfred, carefully nurtured his prodigious talent. Brian’s younger sisters, Ailsa Marr (b.1893) and Marjorie (b.1895), became the subject of many of his pictures. As a boy, he sketched around his home in Hereford. His subjects included: landscape views, horses and other animals, agricultural activities and country people. He also drew imaginative subjects inspired by literature.

As a young man, he travelled at home and abroad. On his travels and later as a soldier, he recorded the people and places around him.

When he began to accept commissions he painted portraits (sometimes of local people). Eventually he had a studio in London and 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.

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