Francis Hayman RA was an English painter and illustrator who became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768, and later its first librarian.
Born in Exeter, Devon, Hayman begun his artistic career as a scene painter in London's Drury Lane theatre before establishing a studio in St Martin's Lane.
A versatile artist influenced by the French Rococo style, he achieved some note during the 1740s through decorative paintings executed for the supper boxes at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in London. Hayman was also a successful portraitist and history painter.
Combining some of these, he contributed 31 pictures to a 1744 edition of Shakespeare's plays by Sir Thomas Hanmer, and later portrayed many leading contemporary actors in Shakespearean roles, including David Garrick as Richard III. He also illustrated Pamela, a novel by Samuel Richardson, Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, Tobias Smollett's translation of Don Quixote, and other well-known works. In the 1760s Hayman was commissioned by Jonathan Tyers, proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens and the Denbies estate, to paint a series of large-scale history paintings depicting British victories in the Seven Years' War.