St George Hare, RI ROI (1857-1933) St George Hare was a painter of contemporary and historical genre, and of portraits, who worked with equal success in oil and watercolour. He was unusual and innovative among British painters of the period, in regularly painting the nude, in a style that seems inspired by the French academic, William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
The breadth of his achievement is well represented in the collections of Stourhead House, the National Trust property in Wiltshire.
St George Hare was born in Limerick, Ireland, on 5 July 1857, the son of George Frederick Hare, a dentist from Ipswich, and his wife, Ella, who came from County Wexford. He spent three years at Limerick School of Art, studying under Nicholas A Brophy. Then, in 1875, he moved to London, studying for seven years at the National Art Training School, South Kensington, where he distinguished himself by acquiring all three art master’s certificates. Though he taught for a while, he concentrated on painting, specialising in portraits and figure subjects.
In 1881, while still a student, he began to exhibit, first showing at the Royal Hibernian Academy.
He achieved popularity with subjects of children, exhibited at the Royal Academy (from 1884), and distinction when The Death of William the Conqueror, hung at the Royal Academy in 1886, won a gold medal during subsequent exhibition at the Crystal Palace. In 1891, he exhibited his first important nude subject, The Victory of Faith, at the RA, and soon became known as one of the few Irish artists to work in this vein. These early successes helped him, through the 1890s, to fully establish his artistic reputation.
An inhabitant of Chelsea, he helped to found the Chelsea Arts Club (1891), and was elected to the membership of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours (1892), the Royal Institute of Painters in Oils (1892) and the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists. He also contributed illustrations to The Graphic (in 1893, 1899 and 1912) and Outram Tristram’s historical romance, The Dead Gallant (1894). In 1893, he married Lily Freeman, the daughter of George St George Freeman, Mayor of Waterford, a dentist colleague of his father, and possibly his godfather. During the early 1900s, he received numerous commissions from Sir Henry Hoare of Stourhead. He died in hospital in London on 30 January 1933.
His work is represented in the collections of Stourhead House (Wiltshire).