Paul Hardy (b.1862, working 1890s-1900s)

The artist Paul Hardy was born in Bath, son of the artist David Hardy, whose father was also an artist. He settled in London in 1886, but moved out when he married two years later (to a certain Miss Ida Wilson Clarke), taking up residence in Bexley Heath, Kent by 1890, and then moving to Chobham in Surrey by 1899. He exhibited paintings in the 1890s, including one at the Royal Academy, but made his reputation as an illustrator, working for a variety of magazine and book publishers.

Hardy's illustrative work was at its best quite striking, but was inconsistent, varying from the very good to the feeble and desultory. Some of his better work may be found in the Strand Magazine and the English Illustrated Magazine in the 1890s, which seems to have been the peak of his career.

I have seen only a couple of paintings by Hardy, which both tended to a bright, bold storybook treatment similar to some of his illustrative work. Notable in this fashion is his Canterbury Pilgims (1903), at the museum in Canterbury.

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