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Portrait of Sir Hall Caine

Date made: n.d.

Artist: Morrison, Robert Edward

Description: Portrait of Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine by Robert Edward Morrison.

The portrait itself radiates warmth, using tones of brown, orange and golden yellows which accentuate the red hair and beard of the sitter – making him instantly recognisable. The wicker chair adds a touch of modesty to Hall Caine, reminding the viewer that although an established writer (the most highly paid in his day) and prolific figure, the man came from more humble roots.

Raised in working-class Toxteth, Liverpool, his childhood was hard and blighted by poverty, disease, and death. After only four years in school (the most his family could afford), Caine served as an apprentice architect before going to live with his uncle and aunt in Maughold and going on to form his stellar career.

The artist Robert Edward Morrison originally trained as a house painter, and he served part of his apprenticeship with William Nicholson of Douglas, father of the leading Manx artist, John Miller Nicholson. He was given his first art lessons by John Miller Nicholson who was to become a life-long friend and whose portrait he painted in later life. Morrison went on to study art in Liverpool and Paris, in in the 1870s became a full-time artist specialising in portrait painting with great success. He started exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1884 and painted many of the dignitaries of Liverpool, Lancashire and the Isle of Man.

Robert Edward Morrison died on Christmas Day 1934. His obituary in the Mona’s Herald was written by the brother of T.H. Hall Caine, William Ralph. He expresses a sadness towards ‘Manxland’s indifference to such of her sons as adopt an artistic career’ and did not hide that he felt his friend was not appreciated as a great Manx artist, regarding him as ‘another of our Island’s neglected sons’.

Measurements: unframed artwork: 90 cm x 70 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1954-5806

Subject tags : #artgallerypeople


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