Sir George Hayter (1792 – 1871) was a notable English painter, specialising in portraits and large works involving in some cases several hundred individual portraits. Queen Victoria appreciated his merits and appointed Hayter her Principal Painter in Ordinary and also awarded him a Knighthood 1841.
By the mid-1840s Hayter’s portrait style was considered old-fashioned. He adjusted his type of history painting to suit the more literal taste of the early Victorian era (e.g. Wellington Viewing Napoleon’s Effigy at Madame Tussaud’s; destr. 1925; engraving, 1854). Hayter also painted several large religious paintings including two depicting important Reformist events, 'Bishop Latimer Preaching at Paul's Cross' and 'The Martyrdom of Bishops Ridley and Latimer' (exh. 1855), both of which were gifted to the Art Museum, Princeton University, USA in 1984. He also produced fluent landscape watercolours (many of Italian views), etchings (he published a volume in 1833), decorative designs and sculpture. The contents of Hayter’s studio were auctioned at Christie’s, London, on 19 April 1871.