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. In1898, 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.
Brian Hatton: Timeline
1887: 12th August, born at Carlton Villa, Whitecross, Hereford.
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1893: Brian’s sister, Ailsa Marr Hatton born
1895: Hatton family move to Mount Craig, Broomy Hill, Hereford.
1895: Brian’s sister, Marjorie Hatton born.
1895: Aged 8, awarded his first medal by the Royal Drawing Society.
1897: Aged 10, sent to Swansea for health reasons, stayed with Dr and Mrs
1898: Awarded the ‘Gold Star’ of the Royal Drawing Society. The artist G F Watts
admires Brian’s talent and begins to take a keen interest in his development.
1899: Becomes a pupil at Swansea Grammar School.
1904: Visits St Ives and Newlyn, Cornwall.
1905: Attends Trinity College, Oxford.
1906: Visits Amsterdam and the Hague with his uncle, Charles Marr.
1906: Attends Hospitalfields Art School, Arbroath, Scotland.
1908: Shares rooms in London with his cousin, Geoffrey Vevers.
1908: Sets up a studio at home in Mount Craig, Hereford.
1908: Travels to Egypt to accompany the archaeological expedition of Professor
(later Sir) William Flinders Petrie.
1909: 27th July, Brian’s mother, Amelia Hatton dies.
1910: November, visits Paris, paints at the Academie Julien.
1912: January, shares a studio in London with friend, Gerald Siordet. Working on
1914: 4th September, joins the Worcester Yeomanry.
1914: 5th November, marries Lydia May Bidmead of Hereford in Newbury.
1915: 21st September, Brian’s daughter, Mary Amelia born.
1916: 23rd April Easter Sunday, Brian killed in action at Oghratina, Egypt.