Artist biography

Sir Charles HOLMES 1868–1936

Art historian, landscape painter and etcher. Born 11 November 1868 at Preston, Lancashire, nephew of Sir Richard Holmes, Librarian at Windsor Castle. Studied at Brasenose College, Oxford, from 1887. Worked in a publisher's office in London; from 1895 to 1903 Director of the Vale Press for Ricketts and Shannon. Self-taught in drawing; studied etching under William Strang. Began exhibiting at the N.E.A.C. 1900, member 1905; editor of the Burlington Magazine 1903–9; Slade Professor at Oxford 1904–10; first one-man exhibition at the Carfax Gallery 1909; Director of the National Portrait Gallery 1909–16 and of the National Gallery 1916–28. Knighted 1921; K.C.V.O. 1928. A.R.W.S. 1924, member 1928. Painted mainly the bleak mountains and industrial scenes of the north of England (Collection at Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire). His first publication Hokusai 1899, was followed by many others, including Constable and His Influence on Landscape Painting 1902, books on the National Gallery and his autobiography Self and Partners 1936. Died in London 7 December 1936. Memorial exhibition at the Fine Art Society 1937.

Lit: X. B. [C. H. Collins Baker], Sir Charles Holmes, 1924; C. J. Holmes, Self and Partners, 1936.


Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I