Michael Angelo Hayes, Painter of Horses and Military Subjects

(b. 1820, d. 1877)

Painter of Horses and Military Subjects

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Michael Angelo Hayes. Photograph.

Born in Waterford on 25th July, 1820, the son of Edward Hayes (q.v.). He was instructed in art by his father, and at an early age had gained considerable reputation by his pictures and drawings of horses and military subjects. He made his first appearance as an exhibitor at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1837 as "Master Hayes"; and again contributed in 1840 and the two following years. In 1842 he was appointed Military Painter-in-ordinary to the Lord Lieutenant. For the next few years he was mostly in London, and exhibited at the New Society of Painters in Water-colours, of which he became an Associate in 1848, and in that year made his only contribution to the Royal Academy. Settling again in Dublin he resumed exhibiting in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1853, and on the 9th of April was elected an Associate. He became a full Member on 13th October, 1854, and was elected Secretary on 5th March, 1856. The affairs of the Academy had at this time fallen into an unsatisfactory condition; its finances were embarrassed, and its rules and regulations were, in spite of the protests and efforts of its President, Martin Cregan, persistently ignored and violated. Hayes set himself to work to put the affairs of the institution on a better footing; and by his efforts its debt was considerably reduced, and its condition generally improved. But these reforms, which involved the temporary withdrawal of the salaries and fees of various officials, incurred the hostility of a section of the Academicians, chiefly of the older members, and every effort was made to thwart them.

As Secretary Hayes had refused to recognize George Petrie as a member of the Academy, or to summon him to its meetings, on the grounds that, under the rules, he had forfeited his membership by reason of his not exhibiting for two years. This brought events to a climax. At a meeting held on 22nd December, 1856, a new Council was elected, and Cregan and Hayes were replaced as President and Secretary by Petrie and Mulrenin. Hayes and his friends declined to recognize the validity of this meeting and of the appointments made by it, and he refused to surrender the books and keys held by him as Secretary. In consequence he was, on the 8th April, 1857, expelled from the Academy. For some time the state of the institution was in confusion; two Presidents, two Secretaries and two Councils claimed to represent the Academy. The questions at issue were referred to the Lord Lieutenant and the Law Officers. The latter, though giving no definite opinion, were not favourable to the legality of the meeting of the 22nd December, and were doubtful as to the question of Petrie's position; they advised the settling of the quarrel by the members themselves, and the making of such a compromise as would put an end to the schism. But neither side would give way, and so things continued until the annual meeting, held on 17th October, 1857, when Petrie was elected President. Although this was a victory for the opponents of Hayes and his friends, the position taken up by him appears to have been justified, and the contentions and statements in his letters to the Dublin newspapers were certainly not refuted by the published replies of B. Mulrenin and G. F. Mulvany.*

In March, 1859, Catterson Smith was elected President, on the resignation of Petrie. He declined to reinstate Hayes or recognize him as a member, and an offer to submit the case to arbitration was refused. But on the granting of a new charter to the Academy in 1860, by which the number of members was increased, Hayes was brought in as a member, and was, in October, 1861, once more elected Secretary. He held this post until 8th April, 1870, when he relinquished it. He continued to exhibit until 1874, and in December of that year he resigned his membership.

Hayes painted both in oil and water-colour; most of his works being of military subjects in which horses could be introduced. He also painted some large ceremonial pictures, in which he was not very successful. He had long made a study of the subject of horses in motion, and had anticipated many of the conclusions arrived at in modern times. In 1876 he read a paper before the Royal Dublin Society which he published as a pamphlet, "The Delineation of Animals in rapid Motion," with illustrations by himself. He also did a series of large drawings, showing the various paces of horses. One of them, "Cantering," was in the Dublin Exhibition of 1907. Many of his works were engraved; his "Car-travelling in Ireland," a series of four plates, was published by Ackermann in 1836, and several series of military subjects and costume were published by Fores, and by Graves and others. A series of drawings illustrating the ballad of "Savourneen Deelish," was awarded a prize by the Royal Irish Art Union, and lithographed by J. H. Lynch (q.v.), and published in 1846. Hayes married a sister of Peter Paul McSwiney, of Sackville Street, who appointed him his Secretary when Lord Mayor. He also held the post of City Marshal, to which he was appointed in 1867. He died from the result of an accident. In examining a tank at the top of his house, No. 4 Salem Place, he fell in and was drowned, on the 31st December, 1877. He was buried at Glasnevin. Amongst his numerous works are:—

The 16th Lancers breaking the square of Sikh infantry at the battle of Aliwal; ex. Water-colour Society, London, 1852; R.H.A., 1853.

Charge of the Light Dragoons at the battle of Moodkee; a large water-colour, 3 ft. by 5 ft. [Major Wise, Rochestown, Cahir.] R.A., 1847, his only contribution; Water-colour Society, 1849; R.H.A., 1853. The £100 prize in Dublin Shilling Art Union, 1860, won by John Broderick, of Comeragh, Co. Waterford.

The Heavy Cavalry Charge at Balaclava; Water-colour Society, 1885; R.H.A., 1856. £80 prize in Dublin Art Union, 1857, won by Mr. Jebb, of Boston, U.S.A.

Sounding the Recall at Balaclava. Oil picture. [John Forster, Santoy, Ranelagh.]

Meet of the Kildare Hounds at Bishopscourt, containing 27 portraits. R.H.A., 1863. [Earl of Clonmell.]

The Race for the Corinthian Cup, Punchestown, 1854; large water-colour, 4 ft. by 6 ft. [Earl of Clonmell.] Amongst the numerous portraits are those of Lord Clonmell, Lord Cloncurry, Lord Drogheda, the Marquess of Waterford, Lord St. Lawrence, Sir Philip Crampton and Captain Warburton.

St. Patrick's Day at Dublin Castle. R.H.A., 1864; purchased by subscription and presented to the Lord Lieutenant the Earl of Carlisle. [Earl of Carlisle at Castle Howard.]

Installation of the Prince of Wales as Knight of St. Patrick in St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1868. This picture, 8 feet by 6 feet, was finished in 1872; R.H.A., 1876, priced at £1,200. Reproduced by the Autotype Co., London, 29 by 25 inches and published by R. Turner of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1875. For description of the picture see "Irish Times," 5th June, 1872. [Lord Iveagh.]

The Last Stand of the 44th at Cabul. Purchased by the Royal Irish Art Union in 1845 and won as a prize by Thomas Webb of Lower Sackville Street, who lent it to the Dublin Exhibition of 1853.

Surprising the Vedettes. R.H.A., 1870.

The Soldier's Funeral. R.H.A., 1862; selected as the £100 Art Union prize by Mr. Dalton.

General Sir Edward Blakeney and his Staff at the Royal Hospital. Water-colour Soc., 1850.

Portrait of Peter Paul MacSwiney, Lord Mayor. Painted in 1875.

Inauguration Procession of the Lord Mayor of Dublin; 1864; 5 ½ ft. by 8 ft.

The Marquess of Drogheda on his favourite Hunter. [Earl of Drogheda.]

View of Sackville Street, showing the Post Office, Nelson's Pillar, and the palatial Mart of the Messrs. McSwiney and Co. R.H.A., 1854; Water-Colour Soc., 1858; lithographed by W. Simpson and published by Day and Son, 11 by 14 ½ inches.

Single X and Double X, a Charger of the 10th Hussars and a Guinness's Dray Horse. Water-colour. [John Forster, Santoy, Ranelagh.]

Cantering; a Portrait of Charles Brindley, Huntsman to the Ward Union Hounds, on horseback. A large drawing in chalk, one of a series to illustrate horses in motion. Lent to Dublin Ex., 1907, by Claude Malcolmson.

A Regular Set-down, four miles an hour. Purchased by the Royal Irish Art Union in 1844 for £50. [A. Hill, Cork.]

Incidents from the War in the Crimea. Five lithographs in colour, published by Lloyd Brothers, 1854-5.

Costumes of the British Army; a series of 51 coloured plates, lithographed by J. H. Lynch, and published in two vols., folio, by W. Spooner, 1840-44.

Costumes of the British Army; 15 plates published by H. Graves and Co., 1845-6.

Illustrations to the Ballad of "Savourneen Deelish"; a series of outline drawings. Awarded a prize of £20 by the Royal Irish Art Union in 1845; lithographed by J. H. Lynch, and published by the Art Union in 1846.

Car-Driving in the South of Ireland in the year 1836; Bianconi's establishment. Four coloured aquatints by J. Harris, published by Ackerman, 1836. The plates are: 1o "Getting Ready, Hearne's Hotel, Clonmel"; 2o "Arriving at the end of a Stage"; 3o "On the Road, at full Pace"; 4o "Dropping a Passenger." Reprints of these plates are common.

71st Highland Light Infantry; lithographed by J. H. Lynch.

The Old Soldier; lithographed by J. H. Lynch.

Wayside Courtesy; engraved for the National Art Union of Ireland, 1850, by Radcliffe.

The Deserter. R.H.A., 1840.

The Eighteenth of June. Society of Irish Artists, 1844.

The Dying Comrade. Society of Irish Artists, 1844.

The Master, Huntsman and Hounds of the Abergavenny Hunt.

Earl Spencer and the Ward Union Hounds. [Earl Spencer.] Painted for Earl Spencer in 1877.

Light—An 11th Hussar reconnoitring. Drawing, Ex. B.F.A. Club, 1880, by E. Higgin.

Shade—A Sentry at the Horse Guards. Drawing. Ex. B.F.A. Club, 1880, by E. Higgin.

NOTE: * See articles in "Evening Mail" of 2nd Jan., and "Evening Packet," 3rd Jan.; also letters from M. A. Hayes in "Evening Mail," 7th Jan. and 20th March, 1857, and letters of 15th and 29th April; letters from B. Mulrenin, 12th Jan., and from G. F. Mulvany, 2nd May. These and other letters were republished as a pamphlet, by Hayes, with the title, "The Royal Hibernian Academy; a glance at its former management and recent proceedings." See also "Freeman's Journal," August, 1860.

« Edwin Hayes | Contents and Search | James Healy »