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The Reverend William Holwell Carr

The Revd William Holwell Carr (1758 - 1830), born Holwell (the Carr was adopted from the family of his aristocratic wife), was a clergyman with a rich benefice in Cornwall who delegated his pastoral duties and devoted his life to art.

He was a talented amateur painter and a great connoisseur who formed one of the most select collections of Old Master paintings in Europe in the last decades of the18th century and the first of the19th. He bequeathed the collection to the National Gallery on condition that a suitable building was made available.

Among the 32 paintings in his bequest, there are few which are not regarded as highly now as they were at the time.