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Francis Hayman, 1707/8–1776
George Rogers and His Wife, Margaret Rogers (née Tyers), and His Sister, Margaret Rogers [2024, YCBA]
Former Title(s):

George Rogers and His Wife, Margaret, and His Sister, Margaret Rogers [1998, This Other Eden: Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art, exhibition catalogue]

George and Margaret Rogers, with his sister Margaret

George Rogers, his wife Margaret Tyers, and his sister Margaret Rogers

George Rogers with his Wife, Margaret, and his Sister, Margaret Rogers

George Rogers with his wife and (?) sister [1978, Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings, catalogue]

Three Figures in a Landscape
between 1748 and 1750
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
41 × 39 inches (104.1 × 99.1 cm), Frame: 50 × 47 1/2 inches (127 × 120.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
bird | blue | conversation piece | dog (animal) | family | hunting | pheasant | pink (color) | portrait | stone | tree
Associated People:
Rogers, Margaret, sister of George Rogers
Rogers (née Tyers), Margaret
Rogers, George (1718–1792), landscape painter
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Hayman's major commission from the 1740s, the most productive decade of his career, was a series of decorative paintings for the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, a pleasure garden and center of London nightlife that Jonathan Tyers, its proprietor, had made into a booming leisure enterprise. In addition to the work for Vauxhall, Tyers commissioned Hayman to paint several portraits of members of his family in various groupings, and the present work is one of two portraits of his elder daughter Margaret (1724-1786) with her husband George Rogers (1718-1792), an amateur landscape artist.
This outdoor portrait of the couple accompanied by another young woman was most likely done after the Rogers's marriage. (Another of Hayman's paintings in the Center's collection is probably the portrait commissioned by Tyers on that occasion.) The standing female figure was long thought to be Elizabeth Tyers, Margaret Tyers Rogers's younger sister, but now it is commonly accepted that she is, in fact, Margaret Rogers (1722- 1806), George's younger sister. Widowed from her first husband, Margaret Rogers eventually married her sister-in-law's younger brother, Jonathan Tyers Jr., thereby further tightening the bond between the Tyers and Rogers families.
The format and setting of this lively family group confirm Hayman's ability to add verve to the conventions of conversation-piece portraits. Nearly all of Hayman's other portraits of Tyers's family conform to a fashionable stiffness, but here he tinkers with the composition so as to invert the traditional pyramid of sitters, placing the central figure lower than her surrounding companions. The gazes of George Rogers and his sister, looking admiringly at her brother's catch, quickly draw the viewer's eye to the outer edge of the composition, where the young man proudly thrusts the bird out for inspection while his wife confronts the viewer's eyes with her own. The artist's use of multiple focal points and an inverted pyramidal structure forces the viewer to move his or her eyes across the entire canvas and to interact visually with all the sitters in the portrait.
Hayman's creation of a dynamic group portrait is in no way a direct transcription of reality-however much it may appear so-and the energetic composition was evidently much altered from its original design. Two pentimenti show the extent of his changes to the canvas. At the right edge of the canvas, at the level of Margaret Rogers's head, a ghostly figure looms, barely visible: this would have been a sculpted cherub holding a cornucopia and seated on a rectangular stone pedestal, of the sort Hayman included in many of his portraits of the period. He has not erased all traces of the statue but has left the hem of the sister's dress still perching on the base of the stone column, the rest of which he eventually painted out. Another compositional change can be seen in the faint shadow of another leg just to the left of George Rogers's left calf: originally he stood in a more conventional and solid upright position, his left knee straightened. These alterations to the original composition, especially the transformation of George Rogers's stiff posture to a more animated one, give the work an immediacy of feeling and a lifelike appearance that set it apart from the rest of Hayman's more conventional portraits of the period. Almost humorous in tone, the contrast of the proud showmanship of George Rogers with the nonplussed expression of his wife-who continues to pet her dog calmly, apparently unimpressed by her husband's shooting prowess-makes this image a shrewd vision of how the Tyers-Rogers family, leaders of London's leisure activities, spent their time.

Julia Marciari-Alexander

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden, paintings from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, p. 52, no. 14, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA)

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Art Gallery of South Australia, 1998-09-16 - 1998-11-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Queensland Art Gallery, 1998-07-15 - 1998-09-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

This Other Eden : British Paintings from the Paul Mellon Collection at Yale (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1998-05-01 - 1998-07-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Francis Hayman (Kenwood House, 1987-06-24 - 1987-09-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Francis Hayman (Yale Center for British Art, 1987-04-01 - 1987-05-31) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Noble Exercise - The Sporting Ideal in Eighteenth-Century British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 1982-07-14 - 1982-09-19) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Conversation Piece - Arthur Devis & His Contemporaries (Yale Center for British Art, 1980-10-01 - 1980-11-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Pursuit of Happiness - A View of Life in Georgian England (Yale Center for British Art, 1977-04-19 - 1977-09-18) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Brian Allen, Francis Hayman, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1987, pp. 32, 101-2, 174, no. 24, fig. 13, NJ18 H3324 A54 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Javier Arnott Álvarez, "The Conversation Piece". Something more than a portrait, , Under the Sign of Libra, March 4, 2018, https://bajoelsignodelibra.blogspot.com/2018/03/ [Website]

Geoffrey W. Beard, The compleat gentleman, five centuries of aristocratic life , Rizzoli, New York, 1992, p. 156, no. 121, HT653 G7 B415 1992 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Tancred Borenius, English painting in the XVIIIth century, J. Gifford Ltd, London, 1938, pl. 17, ND466 B6 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, April 1977, pp. 255, 258, fig. 6, N1 .A54 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

David Coke, Vauxhall Gardens, a history , Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011, pp. 229, 231, fig. 170, DA689.G3 C65 2011 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Robert Colls, This sporting life : sport and liberty in England, 1760-1960, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K., 2020, p. 372, GV706.35 .C65 2020 (LC) YCBA [ORBIS]

Commemorative catalogue of the exhibition of British art, Royal academy of arts, London, January-March 1934., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1935, p. 25, no. 78, pl. 22, N6761 L651 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 112-113, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & his contemporaries, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 4, 71, cat. no. 54, , NJ18 D5151 D64 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Stephen Deuchar, Noble exercise : the sporting ideal in eighteenth-century British art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1982, p. 39, no. 4, ND1388 G7 D48+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Stephen Deuchar, Sporting art in eighteenth-century England, a social and political history , Yale University Press, New Haven, 1988, p. 84, fig. 65, N8250 D48 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk houses, by the late Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Jarrold & Sons Ltd, Norwich, 1928, pp. 44-45, no. 39, N7598.2 .D85 + Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ralph Edwards, Georgian Conversation Pictures, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 255, 258, fig. 6, N1 A54 105:2 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)] [YCBA]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867 : A Catalogue : The Paul Mellon Collection, , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 52-54, no. 55, Colour Pl. 8, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Exhibition of British art, c. 1000-1860 : full catalogue [of the Winter Exhibition held on January 6-March 10, 1934]., , , Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1934, p. 149, no. 364, N6761 L65 (YCBA) Also available on line [Royal Academy] and on mictofiche [B 162 (YCBA)] [YCBA]

Anthony Fletcher, Gender, sex, and subordination in England 1500-1800, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1995, no. 39, HQ1075.5 E5 F54 1995 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Catherine M. Gordon, British paintings Hogarth to Turner, Frederick Warne, London, 1981, p. 29, ND466 G67 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Luke Herrmann, The Paul Mellon Collection at Burlington House, Connoisseur, vol. 157, December 1964, p. 214, N1 C75 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Julia Marciari-Alexander, This other Eden : Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1998, p. 52, no. 14, ND1314.3 Y36 1998 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Venetia Morrison, The art of George Stubbs, Wellfleet Press, Seacaucus, N.J., 1989, pp. 82-3, NJ18 St915 M67 1989+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 7 (v. 1), no. 20, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) [YCBA]

J. H. Plumb, The pursuit of happiness : a view of life in Georgian England : an exhibition selected from the Paul Mellon collection, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1977, pp. 66, 138, no. 169, N6766 Y34 1977 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Mario Praz, Conversation Pieces : A Survey of the Informal Group Portrait in Europe and America, , Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, University Park, 1971, pl. 147, ND1304 +P713 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Andrew Ritchee, English painters, Hogarth to Constable, lectures delivered April 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 1940, at the Johns Hopkins University. , Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1942, pl. 16, Jda42 A6 942R (LSF) [ORBIS]

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Loan exhibition of works by early Devon painters, born before the year 1800: July 14th to September 10th, 1932 , The Museum, Exeter, England, 1932, p. 59, ND469 D5 E83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

John E. Ruch, A Hayman portrait of Jonathan Tyers's Family : August 1970, Burlington Magazine, August 1970, pg. 495-497, N1 B87 (LC) Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sacheverell Sitwell, Conversation pieces, a survey of English domestic portraits and their painters , B.T. Batsford, London, 1936, pp. 74, 104-05;, fig. 86, ND1314 S5 1936 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Fine Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Drawings and Paintings : 29 May 1963, Sotheby's, London, May 29, 1963, p. 23 and opposite p. 23, lot. 56, Auction Catalogues (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Pictures by old masters : 25 February 1925, Sotheby's, February 25, 1925, p. 12, lot 66, Film B12 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Roy C. Strong, The British portrait, 1660-1960, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, p. 66, pl. 61, ND1314 B743 1991 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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