Dudley Hardy was born in Sheffield in 1867. He was educated at Boulogne School and at University College, London; later travelling to Europe to study art in Dusseldorf, Antwerp and Paris. It was during his time in France that he came in contact with the poster art of Cheret and Lautrec and their work had a lasting influence on his style. As a poster designer Hardy’s strengths lay in his great success in translating the fin de siècle achievements of these French artists into the idiom of popular English humour found in the comedy plays of his day,. A Gaiety Girl (1893) is probably his best known and most accomplished design. Hardy was a prolific illustrator for magazines, as well as a painter in oils of mostly oriental and biblical scenes.