Decorated initial IM

n 1855 Holiday began his studies at the Royal Academy Schools and in 1856 he started a Sketching Club with fellow students Simeon Solomon and Albert Moore, later joined by William Blake Richmond. In 1859 he joined the Artist’s Volunteer Corp (Artists Rifles) whose members would eventually include Solomon, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Thomas Woolner, Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, Frederic Leighton, Val Prinsep, W. B. Richmond, and G. F. Watts.

In 1859 Holiday met Burne-Jones for the first time, introduced by Solomon and John Ruskin. By 1861 at least and probably earlier he had visited Rossetti’s studio. In 1861 he was part of a group of talented young artists assembled by the architect William Burges who painted designs on Burges’s Great Bookcase. Holiday painted Sappho Serenading Phaon. Other artists who contributed included Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Moore, Edward Poynter, Frederick Smallfield, H. S. Marks, W. F. Yeames, N. H. J. Westlake, Thomas Morten, J. A. Fitzgerald, Frederick Weekes, and Charles Rossiter. Most of these artists were not directly associated with the Pre-Raphaelites but the majority of them developed into important fine or decorative artists. Of the younger artists associated with the Pre-Raphaelites at this time Holiday was closest to Solomon, Burne-Jones, and Morris. Their families were close as well.

Holiday was also associated with the “Poetry Without Grammar” artist Harry Ellis Wooldridge with whom he collaborated for a time on stained glass and decorative projects. In 1870 the two artists painted a frieze of Te Deum at Worcester College Chapel in Oxford. In 1881 Holiday joined with other important artists and designers like Lewis F. Day, Walter Crane, J. D. Sedding, and T. M. Rooke to form “The Fifteen” who met monthly between October and May to read papers on the decorative arts. He later was a founder member of the Art Workers Guild in 1884 as well as a member of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society from 1889-1910.

Last modified 17 January 2023