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    Sale 7636

    Victorian & Traditionalist Pictures

    11 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 35

    Frank Holl, R.A., A.R.W.S. (1845-1888)

    'Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith'

    Price Realised  


    Frank Holl, R.A., A.R.W.S. (1845-1888)
    'Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith'
    signed and dated 'FRANK HOLL.1870.' (lower left) and signed and inscribed 'Better a dinner of herbs. where love is.-/Than a stalled ox, and hatred therewith./Proverbs. Chapter 15. Verse 17./Frank Holl.' (on a label attached to the stretcher)
    oil on canvas
    39¼ x 56¼ in. (99.6 x 143 cm.)

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    Holl's title is taken from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 15, verse 17 and is one of his early works. His exhibit at the Royal Academy of the following year, No Tidings from the Sea, was bought by Queen Victoria, and the previous year he had been awarded the Travelling Prize for his first success The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away.

    Along with artists such as Luke Fildes and Hubert von Herkomer, Holl presented to the public unequivocal scenes of the suffering of the urban and rural underclass. Hanging alongside the more sentimental offerings of the Victorian school, they had the power to shock, and the public lionized them for it. As the critic Harry Quilter wrote: 'These were genuine, and in one sense almost great pictures: they struck a note in modern art which may possibly rise to be the dominant one. The traditions of the schools are dying away; the costume art is dying fast, and it is pictures like these which devote unsparing power to the facts of everyday life that are hastening the change'.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    with Agnew's, Manchester.


    Art Journal, 1870, p.162.


    London, Royal Academy, 1870, no. 42.