James Holland

English watercolour painter (1799 - 1870) known for his continental views and opaque watercolour technique.

Holland was the son of Martha Holland (1777 - 1847). His father is thought to have been Timothy Edge (1776 - 1838) who worked in the local family pottery in Burselm.

Holland spent a short time in the workshop of pottery manafacturer John Davenport (1765 - 1848). Here he learnt the art of pottery and porcelain painting. In 1819 he moved to London and worked as a pottery painter while trying to pursue a career as a fine artist.

Holland first exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1824, having moved to St Pancras shortly before. He also exhibited regularly at the Society of British Artists and the Society of Painters in Watercolour. He travelled to Paris in 1831 with artist and friend John Scarlett Davis (1804 - 1845), and in 1835 visited Venice for the first time. He would repeat this trip many times during his life. Venice became a favourite subject for Holland and he painted many watercolour and oil views of the city, becoming well known for them.

Holland was commissioned by the periodical the 'Landscape Annual' to produce illustrations of Portugal. They were published in a travel guide to the country in 1839. He continued to travel extensively afterwards to countries including France, Switzerland, Austria and Egypt in search of inspiration. Holland still painted some British landscapes, including views of Greenwich and Blackheath near where he lived in London, but he was best known for his continental views.

In 1842 Holland resigned from the Society of Painters in Watercolour in the hope of being elected a member of the Royal Academy but ultimately he never was. He was well respected as an artist though by his contemporaries.
  • Gender
  • Relationship
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Staffordshire: Burselm
  • Died
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London: Camden: St Pancras
  • Cause of death
    Cirrhosis of the liver and exhaustion
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