Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Hine, Henry George

HINE, HENRY GEORGE (1811–1895), landscape-painter, born at Brighton, Sussex, on 15 Aug. 1811, was the youngest son of William Hine, a native of Hampshire, by his marriage with Mary Roffey. His father was at one time coachman to Mrs. Thrale, and afterwards a coachmaster at Brighton. The boy had no regular training in art, but taught himself to draw and paint from nature, and was encouraged by the vicar of a neighbouring Sussex village, who had a collection of water-colours by Copley Fielding, and taught Hine to appreciate the beauties of the South Downs. He painted for some years in Sussex, acquiring some local reputation by sea-pieces and scenes on the coast near Brighton, till he went to London and was apprenticed as a draughtsman to the engraver Henry Meyer [q. v.] On leaving Meyer he went to Rouen, where he spent about two years. He returned, first to Brighton, then to London, where he became a professional wood engraver, and in 1841 extended his practice to drawing on the wood for illustrated journals. Ebenezer Landells [q. v.], who was then projecting the publication of a landscape periodical called ‘The Cosmorama,’ sent Hine to make a drawing of the port of London on the block. A little comic sketch of a dustman and his dog, which he drew on the margin of the block, caught Landells's eye, and the latter engaged Hine as a contributor to ‘Punch,’ the first number of which had been published on 17 July 1841. Hine's first contribution appeared in September, and he continued to work for ‘Punch’ till 1844. He and William Newman were the chief of the regular artists on the staff before Leech took the lead. Hine contributed little black comic sketches, called ‘blackies,’ and cartoons (eight in all) to volumes iii–v. He also illustrated the first ‘Punch's Almanac.’ His most remarkable contribution, however, was the sheet of ‘Anti-Graham Wafers,’ an attack upon the home secretary, Sir James Robert Graham [q. v.], who caused certain private correspondence to be opened, in 1844. At the end of that year Hine withdrew from the staff of ‘Punch’ and contributed to several short-lived rival publications, such as ‘Puck,’ ‘The Great Gun,’ ‘Joe Miller the Younger,’ and ‘The Man in the Moon,’ as well as to the ‘Illustrated London News.’ After a time he became heartily weary of comic draughtsmanship and professional pun-making, and devoted himself once more to landscape painting. As early as 1830, while still living at Brighton, he had contributed to London exhibitions, and had sent six pictures to the Royal Academy and twelve to the Suffolk Street Gallery between that year and 1851. In 1856 he had three water-colours at Suffolk Street, and in 1859 an oil-painting, ‘Smugglers waiting for a Lugger,’ attracted some attention at the Academy. In 1863 Hine was elected an associate of the Institute of Painters in Water-colours, and exhibited ‘St. Paul's from Fleet Street.’ He was elected a full member in 1864, and exhibited in the following year two Dorsetshire subjects, ‘Durlstone Head’ and ‘Nine Barrow Down.’ From that time onwards he was a regular contributor to the exhibitions at the Institute (since 1884 Royal Institute) of Painters in Water-colours, of which he was the vice-president from 1888 to 1895. Some of his more important pictures were: ‘Lewes from the Town Mill,’ ‘On the Downs near Lewes,’ ‘Swanage Bay,’ ‘Cliffs at Cuckmere,’ ‘In Cowdray Park,’ ‘Haymaking,’ ‘Corfe Castle,’ ‘Moonlight, Shoreham,’ and ‘Fittleworth Common.’ Some of these were sent in 1878 to the Paris Exhibition.

After his marriage in 1840, Hine spent most of his life in London or the northern suburbs; he resided at Highgate from 1856 to 1868, and at Hampstead from 1868 to the time of his death. He painted pictures of London, but his favourite scenery was always that of Sussex, in which he had been born and bred. He continued to paint the downs and the south coast with fresh charm and unabated force, even after he had passed his eightieth year, and several of his water-colours were exhibited at the institute in the year of his death, which took place at Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, on 16 March 1895. In 1840 he married Mary Ann, daughter of John Egerton, a coach-master. His style was founded especially on that of Copley Fielding. He rendered with great success the wide spaces and sweeping curves of the downs, generally in summer or early autumn weather, in glowing sunlight or with sunset and twilight effects. He painted most frequently on the downs at the back of Brighton, and near Lewes and Eastbourne, or along the coast from Rottingdean to Cuckmere Haven. His pictures sold well, and enabled him to support a family of ten daughters and four sons. Two of his sons have inherited his talent for art, Mr. Harry Hine being a well-known member of the Institute, while Mr. William Egerton Hine is art master at Harrow School.

[Magazine of Art, 1893, p. 87, article by Frederick Wedmore, with portrait and illustrations; Athenæum, 23 March 1895; Black and White, 23 March 1895, with portrait; Journal of Decorative Art, May 1895, with portrait; Spielmann's History of Punch, pp. 414–17; Mrs. M. E. King's Round about a Brighton Coach Office, 1896; Graves's Dict. of Artists; private information.]

C. D.