‘FREEDOM' - A Study of a Scene from the French Revolution, 1852
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Overall: 34cm (13.3in) x 43cm (16.9in)
Pen and ink, grey brown wash, heightened with white body-colour on paper. A melodramatic scene from the French Revolution depicting prisoners being released from a dungeon by Revolutionary Guards carrying a Cap of Liberty aloft. Signed and dated lower left ‘M.F. Halliday, 1852’. Framed and glazed.
Michael Frederick Halliday (1822-1969) was from 1839 until his death a clerk in the parliament office, House of Lords. He was also a talented amateur artist and a close friend of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in particular William Holman Hunt, with whom he shared a Pimlico studio. The son of a naval officer, Halliday exhibited his first picture, ‘Moel Shabod, from Capel Curing Road’ at the Royal Academy in 1853, around which time he made the acquaintance of John Everett Millais. Hunt set out for the Holy Land in 1854, and in his absence, Halliday came directly under Millais’ tutelage, accompanying him on hunting and fishing expeditions in the Scottish Highlands. Halliday was also an enthusiastic rifle volunteer, a first-rate shot, and one of the first English eight who competed for the Elcho Shield at Wimbledon. He died after a short illness at Thurloe Place, South Kensington, on 1 June, 1869, and was buried at Brompton cemetery.