|Materials and Techniques|
Oil on canvas
Francis Hayman (1707/8-1776), Decorative painting for a supper-box at Vauxhall Gardens, London: "Bird Catching by a Decoy with a Whistle and Net".
Decorative painting for a supper-box at Vauxhall Gardens, London
Dimensions taken from departmental object file
- Estimate height: 140.3cm
- Estimate width: 233.6cm
Historical significance: Subjects such as bird-catching and bird-nesting (see P.69-1986) demonstrate Hayman's awareness of French art, and have pictorial sources in engravings after Watteau and Lancret.
This painting is one of seven in the V&A by Francis Hayman which relate to Hayman's work for the Vauxhall Gardens. See 'Historical Context' note on Museum Number P.12-1947 [May Day or The Milkmaid's Garland] for information about Hayman and the Vauxhall Gardens, from Brian Allen, Francis Hayman, Published in association with English Heritage (the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood) and Yale Center for British Art by Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1987, Page 107-9.
- Brian Allen, Francis Hayman, Published in association with English Heritage (the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood) and Yale Center for British Art by Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1987; including the following entries: Checklist of Paintings, Drawings, Book Illustrations and Prints", pages 171-193:
Decorative Paintings for Vauxhall Gardens, pages 180-182, numbers 171-217:
"The following list consists of the supper box paintings designed by Hayman and others and executed by Hayman with his studio assistants c.1741-2. The later paintings in the Prince of Wales's Pavilion and in the annexe to the Rotunda have been listed under HISTORY PAINTINGS."
Of the 47 works listed by Brian Allen, about 15 survive, of which 7 are in the V&A:
No.173 - [then "Untraced"] Museum number E.879-1994]
No.179 - Museum number P.70-1986
No.191 - Museum number P.13-1947 (Also Allen, cat. no. 33, p.111-112)
No.196 - Museum number P.29-1954
No.200 - Museum number P.69-1986
No.205 - Museum number P.68-1986
No.208 - Museum number P.12-1947 (Also Allen, cat. no. 30, p.109-110)
This painting is no.205
- Vauxhall Gardens, Yale Center for British Art, 1983, pp.25-35
- Brian Allen, "Francis Hayman and the Supper-Box Paintings for Vauxhall Gardens", in Charles Hind, ed. The Rococo in England, 1986, pp.113-134.
- For a fuller bibliography see catalogue to Christie's London, Important English Pictures, Friday 21 November 1986, cat. 65.
- Lawrence Gowing, Hogarth, Hayman, and the Vauxhall Decorations, in The Burlington Magazine, XCV, January 1953, pp.4-19.
DECORATIONS RECORDED AT THE GARDENS
A. The Supper Boxes
"... The Grove is bounded by gravel walks, and a considerable number of pavilions or alcoves, ornamented with paintings from the designs of Mr Hayman and Mr. Hogarth, on subjects admirably adapted to the place..." (The Ambulator, 1774, p.181)*. These alcoves, the supper boxes, extended along the north side of the Grove, the east and the south, from which a further short row ran southward. The boxes and their decorations are listed in... The Ambulator in this order; the same order, and the titles given by The Ambulator will be followed here. * The Ambulator; or, the Stranger's Companion in a tour Round London... comprehending Catalogues of the Pictures by Eminent Artists. London (Bew) , p.180 ff., [2nd edition, 1782], p.193 ff. One of many lists of the pictures, printed in guides. This is the fullest of these guides. [From section 4 of 5 areas of Vauxhall described by Gowing following The Ambulator]
[Acquired by the V&A in 1986, museum number P.68-1986].
"The boxes were here interrupted by 'a piazza of five arches' - in the second edition of The Ambulator 'a semi-circle of pavilions' - 'with a temple and dome at each end'. In the centre stood Roubilliac's statue of Handel. Five more boxes completed the south side of the quadrangle:"
"40 '1. Bird-catching, by a decoy with a whistle and net.' (Fig. 15.)
Christie's July 9, 1859, lot 104, the property of F. Gye... By descent to Major A.S.C. Browne, Callaly Castle. 55 ½ x 92 in. In relatively good condition. Apparently entirely by Hayman; it is hard to see any sign of a weaker hand."