Sir George Hayter was born on December 17, 1792 in London, England. He was a painter of portraits and historical genre, animals, religious subjects and miniatures. He is renowned for his portraiture.
George Hayter was the son of Charles Hayter, also a portrait painter and miniaturist. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1815, he was awarded a premium of 200 guineas by the British Institution. That same year, he was appointed painter of miniatures to Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Saxe-Coburg.
He spent some time in Italy, most notably in Rome, between 1816 and 1831 when he returned to London and resumed portrait painting. Hayter attained such a stellar reputation for finish and refinement in his work that he received the appointment of principal painter to Queen Victoria and teacher of drawings to the princesses.
Sir George Hayter painted a large picture of Queen Victoria’s Coronation and in 1836, her state portrait, for which he was knighted in 1842.
He painted various works on a large scale of a public and semi-historical character, but essentially works of portraiture; such as The Trial of Queen Caroline, The Meeting of the First Reformed Parliament, now in the National Portrait Gallery, The Marriage of the Queen, the Trial of Lord William Russell and Queen Victoria taking the Coronation Oath, which is accounted to be his finest production.
Sir George Hayter exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1809 to 1838 with his last portrait of Victoria being his last exhibited painting. Thereafter, he enjoyed a lucrative practice as a fashionable portrait painter.
He died on January 18, 1871 in London.