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HOLL, WILLIAM, the elder (1771–1838), engraver, born in 1771, was apparently of German origin. He was a pupil of Benjamin Smith, the engraver, and practised in the stipple method. He was especially noted for his engraved portraits, which were very numerous, some being executed for Lodge's ‘Portraits’ (1821); was employed in engraving Corbould's drawings of the antique marbles in the British Museum, and engraved, among other subjects, ‘The Boar which killed Adonis brought before Venus,’ after R. Westall. Holl was a man of retiring disposition, and his work often appeared under the name of others. He was an advanced liberal in politics, and at the time of the Spa Fields riots in December 1816 exposed himself to great risk by concealing the ringleader, Watson. Holl died in London, 1 Dec. 1838. He had four sons, Benjamin, who practised engraving for a short time; William [see below]; Francis [q. v.], A.R.A.; and Charles (d. 1882), who also practised as an engraver.

Holl, William, the younger (1807–1871), second son of the above, born at Plaistow, Essex, in February 1807, learnt engraving from his father, whose stipple method he adopted for some time, though he subsequently became a line-engraver on steel. He engraved numerous portraits for Lodge's ‘Portraits,’ Knight's ‘Gallery of Portraits,’ Finden's ‘Portraits of the Female Aristocracy,’ &c. He also executed plates for Blackie's ‘Bible,’ T. Moore's ‘Poems,’ and other works. He engraved after W. P. Frith, R.A., ‘An English Merrymaking,’ ‘The Village Pastor,’ ‘Ruth in the Field of Boaz,’ &c.; pictures after J. Absolon, C. Baxter, J. Faed, A. Elmore, B. West, and others; and a number of portraits of members of the ‘Grillion Club,’ drawn by G. Richmond, R.A. At the time of his death he was engaged on an engraving for the Art Union of ‘Rebekah,’ after F. Goodall, R.A., which was completed by his brother Charles Holl, and his assistant F. A. Roberts. Holl died in London, 30 Jan. 1871, after a long illness. He was an industrious worker, and his engravings are highly esteemed. He frequently worked in conjunction with his brother Francis Holl, A.R.A.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of Engl. Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33402); Art Journal, 1871, p. 102; private information.]

L. C.