Hare was born in Limerick on 5 July 1857, the son of a dentist. He trained at the Limerick School of Art under A.N. Brophy and then at the South Kensington School, where he enjoyed great success and assumed some teaching duties. He made his home in London and became a founding member of the Chelsea Arts Club. He exhibited regularly both in England and his native Ireland, winning critical approbriation.
Hare painted portraits, landscapes and literary subjects. 'Fifty years since our wedding day' can be dated to circa 1884. Later in his career Hare's genre pictures, such as Misere Domine - The Victory of Faith (1903) and The Death of Attila (1908) became more experimental and dramatic. By contrast, as Brendan Rooney remarks in his essay for the Gorry Gallery exhibition, 'Fifty Years Since Our Wedding Day' is a thoughtful evocation of a tender moment. A husband and wife recollect their wedding day, watched from afar by the church warden. Hare's composition perhaps ratifies A.L. Baldry's comment (Art Journal, 1908): 'Among the greater qualities of Mr Hare's art can certainly be counted its avoidance of that namby-pamby sentimentality by which painters with less strength of character so often seek to gain popularity'. By keeping his viewer distant from the couple, Hare bequeathes them dignity and prevents the sentiment from becoming mawkish.
'Fifty Years Since Our Wedding Day' is set in the church of All Saints, Cheyne Walk, otherwise known as Chelsea Old Church. Its chancel probably dated from the thirteenth century, the adjacent chapels from the fourteenth. The nave and tower were rebuilt in the seventeenth century, but the church escaped the gothic tweaking endured by many during the Victorian age. Tragically, it suffered considerable bomb damage in 1941; only the More chapel escaping unscathed. All that could be salvaged was stored and the church gradually rebuilt. It was reconsecrated in 1958.
Cheyne Walk, where Chelsea fronts the Thames, has attained almost legendary status due to its association with important cultural figures. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, George Eliot and James McNeill Whistler all took up residence here during the nineteenth century. Hare himself lived nearby on King's Road, then in Brompton.