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Frank Holl : Emerging from the Shadows, Paperback / softback Book

Frank Holl : Emerging from the Shadows Paperback / softback


Francis 'Frank' Montague Holl (1845-1888) was one of the great painters of the Victorian era, notable for his tragic social realism as well as his penetrating portraits.

Although highly respected in his lifetime, his early death meant that he never fully received the acclaim that his work merited.

This book represents the first retrospective of this significant artist.

Exploring in parallel the subject paintings and he portraits, it considers the importance of Holl's output and his continued relevance today.

Leading scholars in the field look at different aspects of Holl's painting, while full catalogue entries examine certain works in detail. Holl was a prodigiously talented artist who entered the the Royal Academy Schools at the age of fifteen, where he won a gold medal for religious painting in 1863.

A year later two of his paintings were accepted for exhibition at the Royal Academy where he showed work regularly until his death.

He was commissioned by Queen Victoria to paint 'No Tidings from the Sea'.

Holl became part of an informal school of social-realist painting that flourished during the 1870s; its aim was to draw attention to the everyday conditions of the working classes and the poor, and implicitly to criticise the social structures that maiantained such conditions.

His great subject pictures, often on bleak themes, were frequently criticised for their darkness but found great favour with the public, who empathised with his depictions.

Funeral processions, child mortality and grief were very much part of life and his emotive images struck a chord with his audience. In 1879, when Holl exhibited a portrait of the engraver Samuel Cousins at the Royal Academy it created a sensation.

In the nine years of life that remained he painted over 150 portraits, some of the greatest of his age-achievements which can be seen on a par with those of Watts and Millais.

His influence was felt in his lifetime and later through the work of Van Gogh who greatly admired Holl.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 168 pages, 58 colour
  • Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Painting & paintings
  • ISBN: 9781781300169



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