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John Holland

Epithet: Artist (1857-1920)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: John Holland was the son of Samuel Holland, a house painter, sign writer and artist. Several members of his family were artists, as well as working in the family painting and decorating firm. It was his uncle John Holland who taught him to work in charcoal, a medium with which he was to become most strongly identified in his later career.

Following his marriage in 1880 and a year living in London, the Holland family moved to the Isle of Man in 1883, first living in Port St Mary and then by 1891 moving to Douglas. Holland established himself as a prolific artist, specialising in large detailed charcoal drawings of contemporary Manx scenes such as collecting wrack (seaweed) on the Douglas shore or fishing at sea. These proved popular both as decoration for the new hotels being built on Douglas Promenade and as up-market souvenirs of the Isle of Man.

Holland established his artistic reputation by producing large oil paintings and charcoal drawings of Manx scenes for the dining rooms and parlours of Douglas hotels and boarding houses. Although very popular at the time, these large works went out of vogue during the 20th century, often because of their large size and unsuitability for modern homes. His work is being appreciated again and is now gaining in popularity.

Occupation / profession: artist

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 1857

Place of birth: Nottingham, England

Date of death: 1920

Place of death: Douglas, Isle of Man


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