A TEENAGE prodigy is back where it all began this week to see what the future holds.

The self-protrait by a 14-year-old Brian Hatton is the latest of the artist’s works to be acquired by Hereford Museum where it has just gone on show.

Getting there was a family affair with the work being donated by Hatton’s relative Dr Geoffrey Vevers through the Art Fund, a national charity which helps museums and galleries acquire new works for public display.

Hatton’s potential had been hailed from the age of eight.

At 10, the boy from Broomy Hill had already won the Royal Drawing Society’s Gold Star and taken tea with its president, Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria. An acclaimed exhibition in Paris was his two years later.

A place among the greats was there for the taking, but the promise died with him in the Sinai desert during the First World War.

The loss was significant to a British art scene shaking off the last remnants of mid-Victorian complacency.

Hatton had much to offer emerging movements with his deceptively simple clear-sighted realism. Sargent, Brangwyn, Orpen and Augustus John were all contemporaries to whom he was compared.

Much of Hatton’s prolific output was inspired by the everyday life of his home county that he captured close to home in the countryside around Warham and Breinton.

Dr Vevers is related to Hatton through his great-grandmother, who was Hatton’s aunt Ada Vevers, herself an amateur artist.

Ada’s son Geoffrey grew up alongside Brian in Hereford. As young men, the two cousins shared accommodation together in London before the war.

Dr Vevers told the Hereford Times that the portrait “filled a gap” in the extensive Hatton archive held by Hereford Museum, much of which is online.

“There is no self portrait of the artist in his teens. This picture fills that gap and is therefore an appropriate addition to the collection,” said Dr Vevers.