T03088 THE TAJO, RONDA 1956
Inscribed ‘...an Holt/56’ bottom right
Oil on canvas, 28 × 35 1/4 (71 × 91)
Purchased from the Ben Uri Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1980
Exh: Lilian Holt: Paintings and Drawings, Ben Uri Gallery, May–June 1980 (11); Lilian Holt 1898–1983: Memorial Exhibition, Gillian Jason Gallery, July–August 1983 (45)
Lilian Holt attended the Putney Art School in 1913–14 and the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1922. Thereafter she had little time for the practice of art until she drew and painted from the model at the Borough Polytechnic in the later 1940s. She first went to Spain in 1929 to visit David Bomberg in Toledo; whilst there she also went to Ronda alone. She and Bomberg later married and spent 1934–1935 in Spain in Cuenca, Ronda and Asturias. They returned to Spain in 1954, living in Ronda, where they tried to establish a painting school, until 1957 when they returned to England because of Bomberg's illness, which was fatal.
While living in Ronda both Lilian Holt and Bomberg painted many views of the town, which is situated on a high rock divided by the valley of the River Tajo; the two parts of the town are joined by a bridge. ‘The Tajo, Ronda’ was painted in this valley, probably in a single session of 2–3 hours, about a mile from the rock face. Lilian Holt painted the view shown in this work many times. She did not make preliminary drawings for paintings.
This catalogue entry is based on a discussion (27.9.83) with Dinora Davies-Rees, one of the artist's daughters.
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984