John Hassall (1868 - 1948)

The British Empire, circa 1900

SKU: 543
Signed; watercolour, 23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (60 x 50 cm.)


Height – 60cm x Width – 50cm


Private Collection

striking image probably dates to the period of the Boer War of
1899–1902, when the Orange Free State and the South African Republic
were absorbed into the British Empire. Hassall’s approach to the
subject reflects public opinion of the period, which was much at ease
with the aggressive foreign policy of the ruling Conservative
government, who were duly re- elected in 1900. Hassall was fascinated
by the military, being the son of a naval officer and having attempted
on two occasions to join the Royal

Military Academy in Sandhurst.
The sketches of Japanese figures on the walls behind possibly refer to
the expansionist ambition of Japan in this period. Hassall’s
distinctive two-dimensional decorative style was much indebted to
Japanese art.

IN 1900  the Population of Britain was about 40 million. The Labour Party was  founded. 

On 22 January 1901 Queen Victoria died and Edward VII ascended to the throne.

The Exposition Universelle in Paris helpED popularize Art the Nouveau style. Alphonse Mucha decorated the Bosnia and Herzegovina Pavilion and collaborates on the Austria-Hungary one.

The Wallace Collection in London opened to the public.

Claude Monet stayed in London and began his Houses of Parliament series of paintings.


 Mary Cassatt – Jules Being Dried by His Mother

Frank Cadogan Cowper – Rapunzel

Maurice de Vlaminck –Sur le zinc 

Maurice Denis ‚Äì Homage to Cézanne

Holman Hunt – The Light of the World (replica))

Henri Matisse – Notre-Dame (Tate)

Edvard Munch – Golgotha

Emil Nolde ‚Äì Wheat Field 

William Orpen – Herbert Everett (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich)

Pablo Picasso – Le Moulin de la Galette

Yves Tanguy, Edward Ardizzone, Thomas Monnington and Roland Penrose were born in 1900 

 John Ruskin, English art critic (b. 1819) and Frederic Edwin Church, (b. 1826) died in 1900

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John Hassall
1868 - 1948

Cartoonist, illustrator, designer, painter and teacher, born in Walmer, Kent. He was the father of the artist Joan Hassall and the writer Christopher Hassall. After education in England and Germany, and twice failing to gain a commission at Sandhurst, he emigrated to Manitoba, Canada, where he farmed. In the early 1890s, after some success contributing sketches to The Graphic, he moved back to Europe, studying art in Antwerp, then enrolling at the Academie Julian in Paris. Returning to England in the mid 1890s Hassall became a popular cartoonist and one of the most celebrated poster designers of his generation (his designs Included the well-known advertisement “Skegness Is so bracing.”). Hassall illustrated numerous books (especially for Blackie and Co.) and periodicals such as The Idler, London Opinion, Pearson’s Magazine and The Tatler. For many years he ran his own school of art, the New Art School and School of Poster Design. He was a member of RI, RWA, London Sketch and Savage Clubs. He lived in London and designed posters for the Great Northern Railway and numerous other clients. Like many artists who achieved a huge reputations through commercial work, Hassall craved public recognition of a different sort. Through his Royal Academy exhibits – larger, ambitious, historical works – he sought to establish himself as an academic painter. These works, however, lack the originality, liveliness and invention of his instantly recognisable and hugely successful commercial work.


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
The original design for Tom Tom the Pipers Son (running with pig) circa, 1900 (Set of 4 available)


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
The original design for Tom Tom the Pipers Son (running with batton) circa, 1900 (Set of 4 available)


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
Ye Pied Piper of Hamelin


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
Lesson Time, Circa 1900


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
Bed Time, Circa 1900


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
The original design for Tom Tom the Pipers Son …. , 1900


John Hassall (1868 - 1948)
The original design for Tom Tom The Piper’s Son (with long hood), circa 1900