Francis Hayman was a scene-painter and illustrator who became one of the Founder-Members of the RA in 1768 and was later its first Librarian. He painted several small portrait groups which influenced Gainsborough (who may have worked under him), but his most famous pictures were the decorations for the fashionable Vauxhall Gardens, begun in the mid-1740s. Some of these survive in the Tate and V&A, London, and show the strong French element in his style, perhaps derived from his friend Gravelot: indeed the Quadrille (Birmingham) was engraved in 1743 as 'by Hayman, designed by Gravelot'. In 1748 he went to Paris with Hogarth, and with him was 'clapt in the Bastille' as a spy.
Like Highmore he illustrated the novels of Samuel Richardson - Southampton has a scene from 'Clarissa Harlowe' - while The Painter's Studio and Lord Clive ... Nawab of Bengal, the modello for a Vauxhall piece (London, NPG) and his Finding of Moses (1746: London, Coram Fdn, formerly Foundling Hospital) are other aspects of his work.
Other pictures are in Cambridge (Fitzwm), Dublin, his native Exeter, London (V&A, Marble Hill), Newcastle, Plymouth, St Louis Mo. and San Marino Calif.
In 1760 he led the Society of Artists in the negotiations which resulted in the foundation of the Royal Academy.
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Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists (Penguin Reference Books)