Private Collection

Halliday, Edward

(1902 – 1984)

Hypnos, 1928

Signed lower left
Oil on canvas
30 x 54 in.

(74.7 x 134.7 cm.)


Commission by Sir Benjamin Johnson for his house Abbot’s Lea, Woolton, 1927. Completed to 1928; given to Halliday as a gift in 1937 upon the death of Johnson.

In its original black and silver Italian bolection moulding frame.

Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1939, under the title Evening in the Campangna, (with new date added 1930-9 but no changes to the composition).  ‘For Real: British Realists from the 20s and 30s’, Museum MORE, Gorssel (September 15th, 2019 ‚Äì January 5th, 2020).

The Thirties. The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism, Palazzo Strozzi, Jan 2013.

Literature: Edward Halliday, Art for Life, 1925-1939,
Anne Compton, pp 18-21, reproduced p. 20 and on front cover.
British Murals & Decorative Painting 1920-1960,
Sansom & Co, 2013, pp.190-203;

Patrick Elliot & Sacha Llewellyn; True to Life, British Realist Painting in the 1920s & 1930s, July 2017, ISBN 978 1 911054 05 4,  Cat. 45 page 91

Hypnos was commissioned in 1927 by Sir Benjamin
Johnson, for his house Abbot’s Lea, Liverpool, and completed
in 1928 during the last year of Halliday’s Rome Scholarship.
Johnson was an insomniac, hence the choice of Hypnos, god of
sleep, and the painting hung in the corridor outside Johnson’s
bedroom. The iconography was devised by Dorothy Hatswell, a
classicist and assistant librarian at The British School at Rome,
whom Halliday married in 1928. The painting includes portraits
of Halliday’s friend and fellow Rome Scholar in Painting Robert
Lyon as well as Bobby Longdon, a friend and classics scholar
at The British School at Rome.

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Halliday, Edward

1902 – 1984

Painter in oil and watercolour mainly of portraits. Born in Liverpool, Halliday studied at the City School of Art there, in Paris at the Atelier Colarossi and at the Royal College of Art. He was awarded the Prix de Rome and worked at the British School there. Exhibited at RA, RBA, Paris Salon and RP, of which for a time he was president. His work is in the collections of HM The Queen, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, the Athenaeum Club, Wolverhampton Royal Hospital and Bootle Dyeworks. His work was reproduced in The Studio, Illustrated London News and The Times and he was interviewed by Stanley Casson for his book Artists at Work, published in 1933. In 1997, the University of Liverpool held an exhibition which concentrated on Halliday’s efforts to popularise art between the wars. Halliday’s daughter Charlotte is also an artist. He lived in London.


Edward Halliday
Charlotte, 1948
Edward Halliday
Portrait of an Italian model, late 1920’s
Edward Halliday
Design for a mural
Edward Halliday
Stained glass window design with Swallow
Edward Halliday
Rotten Row Hyde park, c.1930
Edward Halliday
Design, c.1930
Edward Halliday
Bridge above loch on Eilean, c.1930
Edward Halliday
St John Church Rostrick, recto, c.1930
Edward Halliday
Portrait study, 1936
Edward Halliday
Construct, c.1930
Edward Halliday
Plan, c.1930
Edward Halliday
Profile portrait of R.P. Longden, (Bobby Longdon) half-length, c.1927
Edward Halliday
Portrait of a woman seated, three quarter view, black evening dress, 1935
Edward Halliday
Full length portrait of a woman standing, three quarter view, black evening dress, circa 1935