Born in Stillington in Yorkshire in 1860, Fred Hall first arrived in Newlyn in 1884 and made the village his home from 1885 to 1897. He was very much part of the social circle of the artists at this time, as is evidenced by the caricatures he drew of them all, now in Tate archive.
He painted several notable works while living in Newlyn, including ‘Home from the Fields’ (1886), which features the figure in ‘In the Fields’ (Penlee House collection) as part of a wider composition. His charming, beautifully observed, plein-air paintings of this period were not a commercial success, and he turned to more humorous anecdotal subjects.
Like most of the Newlyn School artists, Hall was influenced by the Continental art of the period, in particular the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848 – 1884). Hall’s Newlyn work was particularly influenced by both the social realist themes of Lepage’s painting, and by its square brush technique.
After twelve years, Hall moved away from Newlyn to settle in Porlock. He went on to develop caricature as the main element of his art, achieving fame for his 1890 exhibition of silhouettes of members of the Devon and Somerset staghounds.