Holding, Henry James (DNB00)

HOLDING, HENRY JAMES (1833–1872), artist, youngest son of Henry Holding, an amateur painter, was born at Salford, Lancashire, in November 1833. At an early age he was employed as a pattern-designer to calico-printers, but soon took to the career of an artist, following the example of three of his brothers. All the members of the family were artists, but none received any regular art training. Before attaining his majority, Holding exhibited in Manchester, Liverpool, and London, his favourite subjects being marine and torrent scenery, which he painted in both oil and water-colours. His last work, ‘Bettws-y-Coed,’ exhibited in 1872, was considered his best. Another excellent picture is his ‘Finding of the Body of Rufus by the Charcoal-burners,’ exhibited in 1862. He died on 2 Aug. 1872 in Paris, whither he had gone on a sketching tour and for the benefit of his health. He was buried in the English cemetery at Paris, since demolished.

An elder brother, Frederick Holding (1817–1874), long resident in Manchester, painted with success in water-colours, showing much skill in figure-drawing. He drew the illustrations for Southey's ‘Battle of Blenheim,’ Manchester, 1864, and other books, and towards the close of his life was scenic artist at the Theatre Royal and the Prince's Theatre, Manchester.

[Letter in Manchester City News, 3 May 1890, by G. W. Holding; Manchester Royal Institution Exhibition Catalogues.]

C. W. S.