“Mere Dead Copies”?
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“Mere Dead Copies”? book
This chapter focuses on one of the paintings present in Sir Cuthbert Quilter’s art collection when it came up for auction in 1909: Frank Holl’s Newgate: Committed for Trial of 1878. It discusses the lives of Holl’s two Newgate pictures and consider how they accrued meaning over their lifetimes and explains how collectors, viewers, and neighboring objects shaped the meanings of the paintings. Holl’s Newgate continues a pattern that Holl began early in his career of pursuing pitiful subjects of modern life. The most obvious difference between the two pictures is their size. The Royal Holloway Newgate was among the largest paintings Holl ever completed, and its size certainly contributed to the controversy over the work when displayed at the Royal Academy. Many of the Welsh cottage pictures are in public collections, showing how replica paintings offered provincial museums the opportunity to own paintings by well-known artists.