Dudley Hardy (1867 - 1922) Woman Reading
Watercolour, signed lower right, probably scene of Breton woman
Dudley Hardy, RI, ROI, RBA, RMS, PS, Born in Sheffield Yorkshire, Dudley Hardy was an English painter and illustrator. He was the eldest son of the marine painter Thomas Bush Hardy under whose tuition he first learned to draw and paint. In 1882 he attended the Dusseldorf Academy where he remained for three years. After a further two years' study in Paris and at Antwerp Academy he returned to England to live and work in London.
In 1885 Hardy began exhibiting at the Royal Academy, an association that lasted his lifetime. His painting, Sans Asile (1889), a view of rough sleepers in Trafalgar Square, was exhibited at the Paris Salon and the Royal Society of Bristish Artists Gallery in 1893; it was this painting that established his reputation.
The prime subjects for his work became the Middle East and Brittany; painting scenes of desert life and Breton peasantry. He a war artist for the 1890s Sudanese war, providing illustrations for London periodicals. His interest in illustration led to the production of French posters, most notably the Yellow Girl advertisement for Today magazine, and Gaiety Girls, a series of posters depicting actresses of the Gaiety Theatre. Further illustrations were for the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and the Savoy Teatre. Much of Dudley Hardy's illustrative work is held at the Victoria & Albert Museum. In the early 1900s he produced a range of comical postcards and in 1909 a series of caricatures for the souvenir programme of the Doncaster Aviation Meeting, England's first airshow.
Hardy joined his friend George Haite (see an example of Haite's work on our website - South of France) as a founder member of the London Sketch Club and became the club's president. He later joined the Eccentric Club.
Dudley Hardy died in 1922.