Open main menu

HOLLAND, Sir NATHANIEL DANCE- (1735–1811), painter, was third son of George Dance the elder [q. v.], and elder brother of George Dance the younger [q. v.] He was born on 18 May 1735 (School Register), and entered Merchant Taylors' School in 1744 (ib.) He studied art under Francis Hayman [q. v.] for some years, and also in Italy, where he became acquainted with and hopelessly attached to Angelica Kauffmann. In 1761 he was elected a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and two years afterwards sent to their exhibition from Rome his picture of ‘Dido and Æneas.’ On his return to England he took up portrait-painting, and attained considerable distinction in that branch of art, contributing to the first exhibition of the Royal Academy (of which he was a foundation member) full-length portraits of George III and his young queen. Until 1776 he was a frequent exhibitor of portraits and historical pieces, but after that date ceased to exhibit, and in 1790 retired from his profession on his marriage with Harriet, daughter of Sir Cecil Bisshopp, bart., and widow of Thomas Dummer, esq. Having taken the additional name of Holland, he entered parliament, and was M.P. for East Grinstead for many years. In 1800 he was created a baronet, but dying without issue on 15 Oct. 1811, the title became extinct. Through his marriage and by his profession he had amassed considerable wealth, and even late in life continued to paint landscapes with considerable success. His best-known pictures are the royal portraits already mentioned (now at Up Park, Sussex), a portrait of Captain Cook at Greenwich Hospital, ‘Timon of Athens,’ a subject picture in the royal collection, and a portrait of ‘Garrick as Richard III,’ which was engraved in mezzotint by Dixon.

[Robinson's Reg. of Merchant Taylors' School, ii. 101; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Burke's Extinct Baronetage.]

C. J. R.