James Hagarty, Landscape and Portrait Painter

(fl. 1760-1782)

Landscape and Portrait Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

An Irish artist working in London in the latter half of the eighteenth century. He resided in Queen Street, Golden Square, for many years, and from that address contributed a number of works, mostly landscapes and animals, with a few portraits, to the Free Society from 1767 to 1782. Amongst these contributions was a "View of Colveston [sic] House, Co. Kildare," in 1778. He did not exhibit in the Royal Academy. Pasquin says that he "lived for many years, and died, at Hagarty Hall, Kentish Town, near London. He occasionally amused himself with decorating or illuminating the outsides of houses. He was a great humorist, but a worthy man." No record of such a place as "Hagarty Hall," can be found; it was probably a name facetiously given to his house by the artist himself. In March, 1762, there was held in Bow Street an exhibition of the "Society of Sign-Painters," designed probably as a skit upon the exhibition of the Society of Artists just then opened. The names of the sign-board painters were either fictitious or those of the printers in Baldwin's office, whence the catalogue was issued. But the name "Hagarty" is appended to several exhibits, and probably these, if not skits upon his works, were contributed by the "great humorist" himself. Among them were "A Man," by Hagarty, representing nine tailors at work, in allusion to the saying "nine tailors make a man"; "The Spirit of Contradiction," two brewers bearing a cask, the men going different ways; "The Dancing Bears," bears in men's clothes; "The Loggerheads"; "View of the Road to Paddington," and others. The exhibition was described in the "St. James Chronicle" as a "mock exhibit and a most pick-pocket imposture"; and most of the newspapers had articles and letters abusing it.

Hagarty had a son, J. HAGARTY, JUNR., who lived in Queen Street and contributed landscapes and figures, mostly in chalk, to the Free Society between 1772 and 1783. In 1780 he exhibited a mezzotint, "A Girl and Cat."

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