Drapery Studies for "Dante and Beatrice"
Henry Holiday (1839 – 1927) was a painter as well as an established stained-glass artist who completed commissions for churches both in England and America. In 1855 he was the youngest student of painting at the Royal Academy Schools, and like many young artists was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters. He was encouraged by critic John Ruskin (1819 – 1898). In 1862 Holiday's career as a stained-glass artist was launched when he succeeded the artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833 – 1898) as the designer for the glass manufacturing company Messrs. Powell and Sons. He was also an illustrator, his most important illustrations being the ones he made for Lewis Carroll's book 'The Hunting of the Snark'. This drawing is a study for the painting 'Dante and Beatrice' on display in Room 08 (WAG 3125). It is Holiday's most important painting and is inspired by the autobiography Vita Nuova of the medieval poet Dante (1265 - 1321).