Sydney Prior Hall

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Sydney Prior Hall
Born 1842
Died 1922
Nationality English
Known for Portrait painter, Children's Literature

Sir Sydney Prior Hall MVO, MA (18 October 1842 – 1922) was a British portrait painter and illustrator[1] and one of the leading reportage artists of the later Victorian period.

The son of animal portraitist Harry Hall,[2] Sydney Hall was educated at Merchant Taylors' School.[3] He decided on a career as an artist while at Oxford University and joined the staff of The Graphic, an illustrated newspaper, shortly after its foundation in late 1869. He immediately established his name with a series of vivid drawings made at the front during the Franco-Prussian War.[4]

As stated in the contemporary publication The Art Journal, his drawings of the Parnell Commission were among his finest achievements in the medium of graphic journalism: "he was in court the whole time, busy with a swift revealing pencil which missed no turn of affairs".[4]

He illustrated a number of books including Tom Brown's School Days (MacMillan, 1885), and Tom Brown at Oxford by Thomas Hughes.

Hall married Hannah Holland, and was the father of Egyptologist Henry R. H. Hall.[5]



  1. "Hall, Sydney Prior". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 763.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Biography of Harry Hall at (Accessed 9 August 2008), derived from:
    Christopher Wood (Ed.), The Dictionary of Victorian Painters ISBN 0-902028-72-3 & ISBN 978-0-902028-72-2 (Antique Collectors' Club Ltd, 1978); and
    Sally Mitchell (Ed.), The Dictionary of British Equestrian Artists ISBN 0-907462-42-1 & ISBN 978-0-907462-42-2 (Antique Collectors' Club Ltd, 1985).
  3. Minchin, J. C. G., Our public schools, their influence on English history; Charter house, Eton, Harrow, Merchant Taylors', Rugby, St. Paul's Westminster, Winchester (London, 1901), p. 195.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sydney Prior Hall (1842-1922), Portrait painter and illustrator at
  5. Morris L. Bierbrier, ed., Who was Who in Egyptology, ISBN 0-85698-125-7, 1995, London, p. 186-7.

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