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John Jackson, Reverend William Holwell Carr

Key facts
Full title Reverend William Holwell Carr
Artist John Jackson
Artist dates 1778 - 1831
Date made about 1827-8
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 75.6 × 62.9 cm
Acquisition credit Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831
Inventory number NG124
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Reverend William Holwell Carr
John Jackson

The Reverend William Holwell Carr (1758–1830) was the son of an Exeter apothecary. In 1797 he married Lady Charlotte Hay, eldest daughter of the 15th Earl of Erroll and his wife Isabella Carr. The following year Lady Charlotte inherited large Carr estates in Northumberland.

From about 1805, Holwell Carr was a ‘gentleman-dealer’ in paintings. As an amateur painter himself, he may also have touched up and restored pictures. He became one of the founding subscribers to the British Institution and lent generously to the Institution’s exhibitions of old masters.

His collection included Titian’s Holy Family and a Shepherd, Claude’s Landscape at the Cave of Adullam, Tintoretto’s Saint George and the Dragon and Rembrandt’s Woman bathing in a Stream. These were among the 35 paintings Holwell Carr bequeathed to the National Gallery six years after its foundation. He commissioned this portrait of himself when he was about 70 to be placed in the Gallery with his pictures.

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