William Hayley (1745-1820) wrote a biography of his friend Romney, for whom he sat on at least thirteen occasions. He was also a poet, and this image evokes very well the soulful melancholy appropriate to this calling.

This may be tactful flattery on Romney’s part - the poet Southey (another friend) said of Hayley: “Everything about that man is good, except his poetry.”


  • Title: William Hayley
  • Creator Lifespan: 1734 - 1802
  • Date: 1777-79
  • Physical Dimensions: w633 x h762 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: Engraving Johann JacobŽ, 1779; T. Holloway, 1786; Ridley, 1798.
  • Work Nationality: British
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: W. H. Mason, 1868; London, Colnaghi's; Charles Fairfax Murray by 1904; Fairfax Murray Gift, 1911.
  • Artist: Romney, George
  • Acquisition Method: Fairfax Murray, Charles (Gift, 1911)

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