Jane Benham Hay
Benham Hay Jane
Londra 1829 / post 1895
Jane Benham was born in London in 1829 to a family of iron and metal workers.
She traveled to Munich in 1850 with her friend Anna Mary Howitt.
Together, they hoped to engage in serious studies of drawing and painting. It became clear to them that women would not be permitted to study at the Academy of Duesseldorf.
Undeterred, they approached the director of the Academy, Wilhelm von Schadow and requested the privilege of private studies in his studio. He agreed and gave them his permission to work in his studio.
Jane stayed in Munich until December 1850, when she was compelled to return to London.
She then married the artist William Hay in 1851 but their marriage did not last long and Jane left London to move to Florence in the mid-1850s, where she met Francesco Saverio Altamura, a painter in the school of the Macchiaioli, the early Italian impressionists.
In 1867 they had a child, Bernard (Bernardo Hay)who kept his mother’s surname.
In 1867 Jane achieved her greatest professional success with The Florentine Procession, also known as The Burning of the Vanities, now in the collection of the Homerton College, Cambridge and exhibited at Florence in the 2004 exhibit “Queens’ gardens.
Saverio Francesco Altamura (bio)
Bernardo Hay (bio)
Anna Mary Howitt (bio)
Wilhelm von Schadow (bio)
Telemaco Signorini (bio)
Promotrice Firenze 1860
Promotrice Torino 1863
A Florentine Procession, Cambridge Homerton College