Henry Holiday (1839-1927)

The painter and designer Henry Holiday, perhaps best known today for his stained glass designs, studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1854, becoming friends with Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Simeon Solomon at this time. He became chief designer at Powell and Sons, a stained glass maker, in 1863 (after Burne-Jones had left the previous year), and fulfilled more than 300 commissions, many for American clients. As a painter, he excelled in drapery, producing cold-faced figure subjects close in spirit to the work of Rossetti. He visited India in 1871, and in 1872 and much later in 1907 went to Egypt, painting a series of watercolours and illustrations on modern Indian and ancient Egyptian themes respectively. As well as stained glass, painting and illustration, he also produced some sculpture and carving, frescos, and also enamelwork.

Illustration by Henry Holiday.

His most important painting was Dante and Beatrice (1883) at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. There is good stained glass by him at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and in various churches, e.g. Notting Hill Church in Essex. Other examples are in American churches, for example the Church of St Thomas, Washington DC, and the Memorial to General Lee in St Pauls, Richmond Va.

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