Francis Hayman was a scene painter and illustrator who became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768 and later its first librarian. He painted some small portraits and may have influenced Gainsborough, who may have worked under him, but his best works were decorative paintings done for the fashionable Vauxhall Gardens in London, begun in the mid 1740s. In 1748 he joined Hogarth in a visit to Paris, where both were arrested as spies. Like Highmore, he illustrated the novels of Samuel Richardson. In 1760 he led the Society of Artists in negotiations eventually leading to the foundation of the Royal Academy.
May Day (1744)
The Wrestling Scene from 'As You Like It' (ca 1740-42)