Sir Charles John Holmes

Charles John Holmes was Director of the National Portrait Gallery, before moving next door to become the sixth Director of the National Gallery.

Holmes was born on 11 November 1868 in Preston. After pursuing his studies at Eton and Oxford, he moved into publishing while at the same time developing his skills as a painter and art historian.

In 1900 he began exhibiting his work with the New English Art Club and in 1903 he became the co-editor of 'The Burlington Magazine'. The following year he took up the position of Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford.

In 1909 Holmes became Director of the National Portrait Gallery, a position he held until August 1916 when he moved next door to become the Director of the National Gallery. Knighted in 1921, Holmes retired from the Gallery in December 1928 and continued to pursue his interest in writing and painting. He died in London on 7 December 1936.

Image above: Detail from Walter Stoneman, for James Russell & Sons, 'Sir Charles John Holmes', circa 1916. Bromide print, National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG Ax39189)
© By Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London, s001

Selected acquisitions

Edouard Manet: 'Eva Gonzalès'
Eva Gonzalès
Edouard Manet
Berthe Morisot: 'Summer's Day'
Summer's Day
Berthe Morisot
Camille Pissarro: 'View from Louveciennes'
View from Louveciennes
Camille Pissarro
Pierre-Auguste Renoir: 'The Umbrellas'
The Umbrellas
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Eugène Delacroix: 'Louis-Auguste Schwiter'
Louis-Auguste Schwiter
Eugène Delacroix
Paul Gauguin: 'A Vase of Flowers'
A Vase of Flowers
Paul Gauguin
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Oedipus and the Sphinx'
Oedipus and the Sphinx
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Monsieur de Norvins'
Monsieur de Norvins
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Angelica saved by Ruggiero'
Angelica saved by Ruggiero
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: 'Pindar and Ictinus'
Pindar and Ictinus
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo: 'The Building of the Trojan Horse'
The Building of the Trojan Horse
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Ugolino di Nerio: 'The Deposition'
The Deposition
Ugolino di Nerio
Ugolino di Nerio: 'Isaiah'
Ugolino di Nerio
Ugolino di Nerio: 'Two Angels'
Spandrel Angels
Ugolino di Nerio
Adam Elsheimer: 'Saint Paul on Malta'
Saint Paul on Malta
Adam Elsheimer
Pieter Bruegel the Elder: 'The Adoration of the Kings'
The Adoration of the Kings
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Vincent van Gogh: 'Van Gogh's Chair'
Van Gogh's Chair
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers
Vincent van Gogh
Lucas Cranach the Elder: 'The Close of the Silver Age (?)'
The Close of the Silver Age (?)
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas: 'Young Spartans Exercising'
Young Spartans Exercising
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Carel Fabritius: 'Young Man in a Fur Cap'
Young Man in a Fur Cap
Carel Fabritius
Palma Vecchio: 'A Blonde Woman'
A Blonde Woman
Palma Vecchio
Georges Seurat: 'Bathers at Asnières'
Bathers at Asnières
Georges Seurat
Paul Cézanne: 'Self Portrait'
Self Portrait
Paul Cézanne
Jean-Siméon Chardin: 'The Young Schoolmistress'
The Young Schoolmistress
Jean-Siméon Chardin
Jean-Siméon Chardin: 'The House of Cards'
The House of Cards
Jean-Siméon Chardin
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas: 'Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando'
Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Geertgen tot Sint Jans: 'The Nativity at Night'
The Nativity at Night
Geertgen tot Sint Jans
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: 'The Seine near Rouen'
The Seine near Rouen
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas: 'Ballet Dancers'
Ballet Dancers
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas
Sir Thomas Lawrence: 'Queen Charlotte'
Queen Charlotte
Sir Thomas Lawrence