after Frank Holl

‘Gone’ - Euston Station. Departure of Emigrants, 9.15 p.m. Train for Liverpool, September, 1875


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Frank Holl 1845–1888
Engraving on paper
Image: 455 × 325 mm
Purchased 2020


This nineteenth-century wood-engraving was published on 19 February 1876 in The Graphic, the weekly illustrated newspaper founded in 1869 by the engraver William Luson Thomas. It shows a group of women at London’s Euston Station and its subtitle identifies the scene with journalistic specificity: ‘Departure of Emigrants, 9.15 p.m. Train for Liverpool, September, 1875’. The commentary accompanying the print noted that the parting which took place at such locations was, in many cases, permanent: ‘to the poor the parting is generally for ever – as far as this life is concerned’. As in the case of Hubert von Herkomer’s Sunday at Chelsea Hospital 1871 (Tate P82583), which was published in The Graphic in February 1871, the success of the print led to the artist executing the same subject as a painting. In 1877 Holl painted Gone, which was exhibited to much acclaim at Tooth’s Winter Exhibition in London that year. This painting is now lost, but a reduced version is in the collection of the Geffrye Museum, London.

This is one of a group of wood-engravings in Tate’s collection that were published in The Graphic and were exhibited at Tate Britain in 2019 in the exhibition Van Gogh and Britain, where they were displayed alongside works by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) (see also Sunday at Chelsea Hospital 1871 after Sir Hubert von Herkomer, Tate P82583, The Old Gate 1876 after Frederic Walker, Tate P82581, and Houseless and Hungry 1869 after Luke Fildes, Tate P82584). Van Gogh worked in the London print trade between 1871 and 1873 and was a prolific collector of British engravings from the period, The Graphic in particular. He owned impressions of these prints and commented on each of them in his letters.

The original engravings, which reflect on social issues, represent the world-leading renaissance of print illustration in Britain during the late nineteenth century, as well as the growth of an alternative popular art form. While the actual engravings were executed by unidentified wood engravers, the artists in many cases made designs specifically for the purpose of reproduction in The Graphic and collaborated closely with the engraver and publisher during the engraving process.

Further reading
Mark Bills, Frank Holl: Emerging from the Shadows, London 2013, pp.94–5, 128–9.
Carol Jacobi (ed.), Van Gogh and Britain, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2019, pp.82–3.

James Finch
February 2020

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