Hoyland, Henry G (RBA), 1894 - 1948


Hoyland, Henry G (RBA) 1894 - 1948


A circus scene depicting two dappled horses. A female performer in costume sits upon the back of the nearmost horse, waiting in the wings of the big top during an interval. To the left, a ringmaster stands beside the second horse and leans against a railing, long whip in hand. Surrounding the scene, drapes and canvas are visible within the tent, painted in soft shades. Born in Sheffiled in 1894, Henry Hoyland served in France during the First World War and later moved to London in 1930. He joined the Royal Society of British Artists with whom he became a regular exhibitor. He spent a period of painting in New York in 1932 before settling in London permanently. He found his artistic inspiration in the circus ring. He became well known for his paintings of circus subjects mostly made at performances of the Hagenbach & Althoff's circus at the Royal Agricultural Hall (now the Business Design Centre) during the Christmas seasons of 1935,1936 and 1937. In 1938 his circus paintings were exhibited in a solo exhibition at Stafford Gallery, London. During the 1930s, the circus was a popular form of entertainment, lifting the spirits of the Depression-era public. Henry Hoyland introduced a new and experimental painting technique with his circus works. By using very absorbent ground he was able to paint in a very light key and create the effect of tempera painting. This technique helped to make his paintings popular in new modern domestic interiors.

Object Name


Creators Name

Hoyland, Henry G (RBA)

Date Created



unframed: 40.5cm x 50.6cm
framed: 60.8cm x 71cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Gift of the artist in 1939


© Manchester Art Gallery

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