Benjamin Robert Haydon

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Benjamin Robert Haydon, self-portrait, around 1845
Mary Russell Mitford , painting by Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1824

Benjamin Robert Haydon , spr. hêdôn, (born January 26, 1786 in Plymouth , † June 22, 1846 in London ) was a British history painter .


At the age of 18 Haydon became a student at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1804 . On the occasion of an exhibition he was able to successfully debut three years later with his painting “Maria und Joseph”. Since his artistic success was not a financial one for a long time, Haydon was sentenced to prison in 1826/27. As a perk he was allowed to paint while in prison. Among other things, the picture “The chairing of the members” was created here, which he painted almost congenially in the style of William Hogarth .

When the British King George IV paid 500 guineas for a painting , his financial situation hardly improved. Because of its parlous economic situation Haydon committed in 1846 with over 60 years on June 22 suicide .


After just a few works, Haydon had found his own style, for which his audience also praised him. Even the British King George IV bought some works; including “The mock election”.

Works (selection)

Head of the horse of Selene
  • Mary and Joseph . 1807.
  • Assassination of the Dentatus . 1809.
  • Napoleon, looking at the sunset .
  • Death of Eucles .
  • Judgment of Solomon . 1814.
  • Entry of Christ into Jerusalem . 1820.
  • Christ on the Mount of Olives .
  • Moses, released by Pharaoh . 1822.
  • Raising Lazarus from the dead . 1823.
  • The mock election .
  • The chairing of the members .
  • Assembly of MPs for the Abolition of Slavery . 1840.


  • David Brown et al .: Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846), painter and writer; friend of Wordsworth and Keats . Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere 1996, ISBN 1-87078-725-0 .
  • Eric George: The life and death of Benjamin Robert Haydon . UP, Oxford 1948.
  • George Olney: Benjamin Robert Haydon. Historical painter . UP, Athens, Ga. 1952.
  • Tom Taylor (Ed.): The autobiography and memoirs of Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) . Brace, New York 1926 (reprint of the London 1853 edition).
  • Ilse Wagner: The literary work of Benjamin Robert Haydons . Dissertation, University of Göttingen 1933.

Web links

Commons : Benjamin Robert Haydon  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files