The Fisherman's Cottage, Deganwy
Research by Jaqueline Arundel
Joshua Anderson Hague (1850-1916) was a landscape painter and watercolourist who specialised in quiet pastoral scenes, similar to those of James Aumonier (1832–1911). He was born in Rusholme, Manchester. At sixteen he went to the Manchester School of Art and studied under its Head, Mr Buckley (1868–1870).
Hague became the leader of a group of young artists known as the 'Manchester School'. Nearly all of these artists had been trained at the Manchester Academy
of Fine Art and they met at the Manchester studio of the self-taught Joseph Knight (1837–1909) in the early 1870s. Knight painted how he desired and refused to conform to traditional Art School rules and this appealed to his young admirers.
They were influenced by the Barbizon School of painters and by Israels, Mauve
and Maris, and made a number of trips to Brittany between 1871 and 1878. The
group was making a considerable impact in the mid 1870s and another of our Collection artists, Fredrick William Jackson (1859 –1918), who studied under
Joshua’s brother, John Houghton Hague, was also drawn towards them, being influenced by their choice of subject matter and style of tonal painting.
Around 1872–73 he moved to Crossen, near Southport.
In 1877 he moved to Tywyn, near Conwy in North Wales, with his wife Sara, whom he had married in 1875, and their four sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Anderson (Dick) Hague, was later to exhibit at the RA, RCA, MAFA and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
In 1881 at Plas Mawr, Conwy, where by now a considerable number of Manchester artists were living, Hague, along with Henry Clarence Whaite (1828-1912) and Edward Norbury, founded the Royal Cambrian Academy and became its Vice President.
In 1884 Hague was elected a member of the Society of British Artists and in 1887 he became a member of the New English Art Club, He was elected to the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1892.
In 1889 he moved to Deganwy where he spent the rest of his life. You will notice that our painting, The Fisherman's Cottage, Deganwy, was painted there (exhibited 1892). The scene in The Young Fishwife, which came into the Collection as Scene in North Wales, also looks like the same coastline.
That same year he had a one-man exhibition at the Brasenose Club, Manchester.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour, Grosvenor Gallery, New Gallery, Baillie Gallery, Dowdeswell Galleries, New English Art Club and Society of British Artists in London, as well as at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Cambrian Society, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Manchester City Art Gallery.
He often exhibited at the Royal Manchester Institution and in 1873 he became a full member of the Manchester Academy in which he played an extremely active business role for forty-three years.
In 1908 forty-five of his paintings were in a retrospective show at the Manchester City Art Gallery.
In 1899 the art critic Maxwell Enoch wrote the following about Hague's work:
'He now paints with a delightful and delicate greyness, and has gradually become stronger in colour and more dexterous in handling. He paints in a manner that is absolutely his own. There is no landscape painter at present working in England who shows so much individuality in his work. The most simple subjects he is able to invest with a beauty and tone that is delightful.'
Hague, Joshua, (2015), Manchester School of Painters, available online @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_School_of_Painters
Jackson, R, (2014), Fredrick William Jackson Art Site, available online
Johnson, J, and Greutzner, A, (1980),
Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge
RCA, (2015),Our History, available online @ http://www.rcaconwy.org/our_history-5.aspx
Wood, Christopher, (1971), Dictionary of Victorian Artists, Woodbridge