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You are hereHarvey-LeeHomeHarvey-LeeWeb ExhibitionsHarvey-LeeSir Charles Holroyd – Introduction


Sir Charles Holroyd R.E.
Holroyd
Potternewton, Leeds 1861 – 1917 Weybridge

Holroyd’s etchings, though he produced some 286 plates, rarely come on to the market so that today he is relatively little known as an etcher. It is therefore a welcome opportunity to offer this selection of eighty-three subjects; the more so in that they come directly from the artist, descending via his wife Lady Holroyd, to their son Michael and subsequently to Michael’s godson. (Michael and his wife Freda had no children; on Michael’s death they were inherited by his widow and at Freda’s death in 1983 passed to their godson, who died in 2002; and thence to his widow.) Furthermore, they give a very good representative cross section of his œuvre, from his earliest plates through to the penultimate year of his life.

They comprise examples from two of his main series, Icarus and Monte Oliveto Maggiore as well as independent mythological and religious images, unusual themes for his time, and as the years passed his move into ‘conventional’ landscape and topographical subjects more typical of Modern British etching. They reveal his love of trees, of Italy and of the Lake District.

On leaving Leeds Grammar School, Holroyd had initially studied mining engineering at the Yorkshire College of Science, but after a year or so changed direction and moved to London in 1880 to attend the Slade, where he was taught by Alphonse Legros. When he graduated in 1884 Legros asked him to stay on as his assistant. Legros considered the traditional journey to Italy such an important part of art training that he donated part of his income to augment the funds available at the college for traveling scholarships.

charles_holroyd
Alphonse Legros: Portrait of Charles Holroyd, etching, c.1889

A travelling scholarship allowed Holroyd to spend 1889-1891 in Rome, which had a lasting effect on both his work (in its subject matter) and future life, for in Rome he met the Australian artist Fannie Featherstonehaugh Macpherson, daughter of the Premier of Victoria. She had coincidentally also trained at the Slade. They returned to England in 1891 and married.

Portrait of Charles Holroyd
Portrait of Sir Charles Holroyd by Fannie Lady Holroyd. Oils, c1900-1905
Exhibited at the Royal Academy 1909.
Reproduced in
Women Painters of the World
by Walter Shaw Sparrow, published 1905.

Holroyd was a painter, etcher, author (of Michael Angelo Buonarotti, London, Duckworth 1903, published the year he was knighted) and from 1897 onwards, a museum director. That year he was appointed first Keeper of the new National Gallery of British Art, at Millbank, which became the Tate, the building having been funded by Sir George Tate and having benefitted from the bequest of his art collection.

Holroyd left the Tate in 1906 to become Director of the National Gallery. There, under his directorship notable acquisitions included The Rokeby Venus by Velasquez, Masaccio’s Virgin & Child, Raphael’s Procession to Calvary, Cranach’s Charity and Vermeer’s Young Woman seated at a Virginal. However, his own painting, and particularly his etching, continued to engage Holroyd, but was necessarily confined to his spare time and holidays.

Elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1885 Holroyd exhibited new etchings every year (with only three exceptions 1888, 1890 & 1915) at the R.E. for thirty years, from 1885 through to 1916. He also exhibited paintings, mainly in oils, at the Royal Academy from 1885 until 1917, and in 1906 exhibited two etchings, the only year he showed etchings at the R.A.

Though Holroyd was a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, he only exhibited with them once, a painting, in 1913. He was also a member of the Art Workers’ Guild, and elected Master for the year 1905.

The majority of Holroyd’s actual etching plates, some worked on both sides, are today housed in the Ashmolean.

~ • ~

Holroyd gave each of his prints an opus number, but in five instances where he reworked a plate at a later date he gave the later state a new opus number. Campbell Dodgson, when he compiled the catalogue of Holroyd’s etchings for Print Collector’s Quarterly in 1923, compacted Holroyd’s numbering, including the later state of the plate with the original one, amalgamating both under the earlier single catalogue number. Hence the occurrence of apparent reference number discrepancies.

A paper edition of this catalogue will be published in December, price £10.

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The Exhibition

To view the entire Exhibition, print-by-print, click this link and then follow the prints through the Gallery by using the "next print >" and "< previous print" navigation buttons. Alternatively, you can select an individual print from its thumbnail or title in the list below.

Chrales Holroyd, Grinding the Axe. Etching, before 1885.

Grinding the Axe
Original etching, before 1885

Charles Holroyd, A Trio. Etching  before 1885

A Trio
Original etching, before 1885

Charles Holroyd, Satyr.  Original etching, 1885

Study of Head - Satyr
Original etching, 1885

Charles Holroyd, Giorgione at Asolo. Original etching, c1902

Giorgione at Asolo
Original etching, c1902

Charles Holroyd, The General of the Order in his Study.  Original etching, 1891-92

The General of the Order in his Study
Original etching, 1891-92

Charles Holroyd, Midnight Service, Venice. Original etching, 1897-98.

Midnight Service, Venice
Original etching, 1897-98

Charles Holroyd, Daedalus and Icarus. Original etching, 1894-95.

Daedalus and Icarus
Original etching, 1894-95

Charles Holroyd, Flight of Icarus. Original etching, 1901-02.

The Flight of Icarus – second plate
Original etching, 1901-02

Charles Holroyd, Icarus. Original etching, 1894-95.

Icarus
Original etching, 1894-95

Charles Holroyd, Fall of Icarus. Original etching, 1901- 02.

Fall of Icarus
Original etching, 1901- 02

Charles Holroyd, Original etching, 1890-01.

The Death of Icarus
Original etching, 1890-01

Charles Holroyd, Sacred Music.  Original etching, 1894-95.

Sacred Music
Original etching, 1894-95

Charles Holroyd, The Adoration of the Shepherds. Original etching, 1899 - 1900.

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Original etching, 1899 - 1900

Charles Holroyd, Mistress Katharine Mary Gray Woodthorpe.  Original etching, 1903-04.

Mistress Katharine
Mary Gray Woodthorpe

Original etching, 1903-04

Charles Holroyd, Eve and the Serpent.  Original etching on zinc, 1899.

Eve and the Serpent
Original etching, 1899

Charles Holroyd, “Adam and his wife hid themselves”.  Original etching, 1898-99

“Adam and his wife hid themselves”
Original etching, 1898-99

Charles Holroyd,  Eve finding the body of Abel.  Original etching, 1900-01

Eve finding the body of Abel
Original etching, 1900-01

Charles Holroyd,  The Magdalen. Original drypoint, 1895.

The Magdalen
Original etching, 1895

Charles Holroyd,  Lady Godiva. Original drypoint, 1895.

Lady Godiva
Original etching, 1895

Charles Holroyd, Bathers in a Fountain, Piazza del Poplo.  Original etching, 1890-91.

Bathers in a Fountain, Piazza del Poplo
Original etching, 1890-91

Charles Holroyd, Mistress Katharine Mary Gray Woodthorpe. A Roman Fountain.  Original etching, 1892.

A Roman Fountain
Original etching, 1892

Charles Holroyd, Mistress Katharine Mary Gray Woodthorpe. A Roman Fountain.  Original etching, 1892.

Nymph or Pomona
Original engraving/drypoint, 1894-95

Charles Holroyd,  Veii. . Original etching, 1897.

Veii
Original etchings, 1897

Charles Holroyd. Naiad or A Summer Breeze.  Original etching, 1892-1900.

Naiad or A Summer Breeze
Original etching, 1892-1900

Charles Holroyd. The Dark Pool.  Original etching, 1894.

The Dark Pool
Original etching, 1894

Charles Holroyd. Hamadryad. Original etching, 1907.

Hamadryad
Original etching, 1907

Charles Holroyd. The Cave Dweller.  Original drypoint, 1909.

The Cave Dweller
Original drypoint, 1909

Charles Holroyd. Bather in a Rapid Stream. Original etching, 1912-13.

Bather in a Rapid Stream
Original etching, 1912-13

Charles Holroyd. Nymphs by the Sea.  Original etching, 1904-05.

Nymphs by the Sea
Original etching, 1904-05

Charles Holroyd. Bathers (Plate 1).  Original etching, 1893-94.

Bathers 1st Plate
Original etching, 1893-94

Charles Holroyd. Bathers (Plate 2) or Nymphs by a Lake.  Original etching, 1893-94.

Bathers 2nd Plate
Original etching, 1907

Charles Holroyd. Nymphs of a Mountain Stream. Original etching and drypoint, 1908.

Nymphs of a Mountain Stream
Original etching & drypoint, 1908

Charles Holroyd. Alphonse Legros No.1.  Original etching, 1895-96.

Alphonse Legros No.1
Original etching, 1895-96

Charles Holroyd. Roger Fry.  Original etching, 1899.

Roger Fry
Original etching, 1899

Charles Holroyd. Edmund Kerchever Chambers.  Original etchings, 1900-01.

Edmund Kerchever Chambers
Original etchings, 1900-01

Charles Holroyd. Michael.  Original drypoint, 1910.

Michael
Original drypoint, 1910

Charles Holroyd. The Beggar in the Portico or The Philosopher. Original etching, 1912-13.

The Beggar in the Portico
or The Philosopher

Original etching, 1912-13

Charles Holroyd. The Lagoon.  Original etching, 1908.

The Lagoon
Original etching, 1908

Charles Holroyd. Venice from the Giudecca. Original etching, 1905-06.

Venice from the Giudecca
Original etching, 1905-06

Charles Holroyd. Canal of the Giudecca , with San Giorgio Maggiore. Original etching, 1901-02.

Canal of the Giudecca ,
with San Giorgio Maggiore

Original etching, 1905-06

Charles Holroyd. Calle Franchi.  Original etching, 1905-06.

Calle Franchi
Original etching, 1905-06

Charles Holroyd. The Dogana.  Original etching, 1907-08.

The Dogana
Original etching, 1907-08

Charles Holroyd. The Dogana with Smuggler. Original etching, 1907-08.

The Dogana with Smuggler
Original etching, 1907-08

Charles Holroyd. San Geremia.  Original etching, 1899.

San Geremia
Original etching, 1899

Charles Holroyd, Fondamente Zorzi and Ponte de Formager.  Original etching, 1912-13.

Fondamente Zorzi
and Ponte de Formager

Original etching, 1912-13

Charles Holroyd, Canal Grande.  Original etching, 1898-99.

Canal Grande
Original etching, 1898-99

Charles Holroyd, Rio San Gregorio 222.  Original etching, 1905-06.

Rio San Gregorio 222
Original etching, 1905-06

Charles Holroyd, San Pietro in Castello. Original etching, 1901-01

San Pietro in Castello
Original etching, 1901-01

Charles Holroyd, Santa Maria della Salut. Original etching, 1901-02.

Santa Maria della Salute
Original etching, 1901-02

Charles Holroyd, The Salute Steps. Original etching, 1905-06.

The Salute Steps
Original etching, 1905-06

Charles Holroyd, Belluno. Original etching, 1908-09.

Belluno
Original etching, 1908-09

Charles Holroyd, Landor’s Villa. Original etching, 1911-12.

Landor’s Villa
Original etching, 1911-12

Charles Holroyd, Siena, the city beloved of Mary. Original etching, 1902-03.

Siena, the city beloved of Mary
Original etching1902-03

Charles Holroyd, In the Ghetto, Rome. Original etching, 1896-97.

In the Ghetto, Rome
Original etching, 1896-97

Charles Holroyd, Ponte Nomentano. Original etching, 1904.

Ponte Nomentano
Original etching, 1904

Charles Holroyd, Storm Cloud on the Campagna. Original etching, 1896-97.

Storm Cloud on the Campagna
Original etching, 1896-97

Charles Holroyd, Torre degli Schiavi. Original etching, 1895-96.

Torre degli Schiavi
Original etching, 1895-96

Charles Holroyd, Subiaco in the Sabines. Original etching, 1913-14.

Subiaco in the Sabines
Original etching, 1913-14

Charles Holroyd, Carcassonne. Original etching, 1906.

Carcassonne
Original etching, 1906

Charles Holroyd, Torre de la Zeo, Zaragoza. Original etching, 1906.

Torre de la Zeo, Zaragoza
Original etching, 1906

Charles Holroyd, Alcantara Bridge, Toledo. Original etching, 1906.

Alcantara Bridge, Toledo
Original etching, 1906

Charles Holroyd, The Acropolis. Original etching, 1910-11.

The Acropolis
Original etching, 1910-11

Charles Holroyd, The Parthenon. Original etching, 1910-11.

The Parthenon
Original etching, 1910-11

Charles Holroyd, The Parthenon. Original etching, 1910-11.

The Parthenon
Original etching, 1910-11

Charles Holroyd, Night. Original drypoint, 1898.

Night
Original drypoint, 1898

Charles Holroyd, La Bella Romana. Original etching and drypoint, 1891.

La Bella Romana
Original etching and drypoint, 1891

Charles Holroyd, Landscape with a dark tree – Wickersley , Yorkshire. Original etching, 1895-96.

Landscape with a dark tree –
Wickersley , Yorkshire

Original etching, 1895-96

Charles Holroyd, Trees at Hampstead. Original etching, 1893.

Trees at Hampstead
Original etching, 1893

Charles Holroyd, A Thames Backwater near Laleham. Original etching, 1904.

A Thames Backwater near Laleham
Original etching, 1904

Charles Holroyd, Old Barn, Great Fosters. Original etching, 1896.

Old Barn, Great Fosters
Original etching, 1896

Charles Holroyd, The Shadow of the Yews. Original etching, 1903.

The Shadow of the Yews
Original etching, 1903

Charles Holroyd, Borrowdale Yews. Original etching, 1903.

Borrowdale Yews
Original etching, 1903

Charles Holroyd, Wordsworth’s Yews. Original etching, 1908.

Wordsworth’s Yews
Original etching, 1908

Charles Holroyd, View from the top of Glaramara. Original etching, 1907.

View from the top of Glaramara
Original etching, 1907

Charles Holroyd, Langdale Pikes. Original etching, 1905-06.

Langdale Pikes
Original etching, 1905-06

Charles Holroyd, Dungeon Ghyll. Original etching, 1906.

Dungeon Ghyll
Original etching, 1906

Charles Holroyd, Stickle Ghyll. Original etching, 1906.

Stickle Ghyll
Original etching, 1906

Charles Holroyd, Great Gable. Original etching, 1912.

Great Gable
Original etching, 1912

Charles Holroyd, Lingmoor Fell. Original etching, 1906.

Lingmoor Fell
Original etching, 1906

Charles Holroyd, Angle Tarn. Original etching, 1910.

Angle Tarn
Original etching, 1910

Charles Holroyd, Black Mell Pot. Original etching, 1906-07.

Black Mell Pot
Original etching, 1906-07

Charles Holroyd, Pine Trees at Farringford, on the Isle of Wight. Original etching, 1900-01.

Pine Trees at Farringford
Original etching, 1900-01

Charles Holroyd, The Edge of the Wood. Original etching, 1915-16.

The Edge of the Wood
Original etching, 1915-16

 

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