Victorian painter’s eye for social realism at Mercer gallery

Newgate, Committed for Trial by Frank Holl.
Newgate, Committed for Trial by Frank Holl.
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By Graham Chalmers

Visitors have been flooding over the festive period to Harrogate and the The Mercer Art Gallery’s latest blockbuster exhibition.

Frank Holl: Emerging from the Shadows is the first major retrospective exhibition in more than 100 years of one of the great painters of the Victorian period notable for his tragic social realism as well as his penetrating society portraits.

This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to discover much more about this little-known artist, bringing together 35 of Holl’s major works, including paintings that have never before been on public display.

These include a portrait of former Prime Minister, W.E. Gladstone, which has hung on the walls of his stately home at Hawarden Castle for more than 90 years.

The exhibition runs until March 30. The gallery is closed January 1.

Opening times: Tues-Sat: 10.00 to 16.00, Sun: 14.00 to 16.00. Closed Mondays except Bank Holiday Mondays.