Lilian Holt

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lilian Holt
Portrait of Lilian Holt by David Bomberg, 1929
David Bomberg, Lilian Painting David (Painting Lilian), 1929, Tate Gallery.
London, England
EducationPutney Art School
Regent Street Polytechnic
Known forLandscape painter
Notable work
Tajo, Ronda (1956)
MovementBorough Group

Lilian Holt (1898-1983) was a British artist, also known by her married name, Bomberg. She was a founding member of the Borough Group.[1] Her dedication to her partner and family limited her career and opportunities as an artist.[2]


Holt studied at Putney Art School and the Regent Street Polytechnic.[1] Her first marriage, to a London art dealer, and the birth of her daughter Dinora Mendelson, limited her opportunities to paint during the 1920s but she studied the work of Walter Sickert, Jacob Epstein, Jacob Kramer, and David Bomberg during this time.[1] She married Bomberg after visiting him in Spain in 1929.[3] Holt did not resume painting until 1945, focusing instead on supporting Bomberg's career.[1] While Bomberg was teaching at the Borough Polytechnic Institute, Holt was a founding member of the Borough Group, a collective of painters influenced by Bomberg, and participated in group exhibitions.[4][5] Holt and Bomberg moved to Ronda in Spain from 1954 to 1957, before returning to England due to Bomberg's failing health.[6][3] After Bomberg's death, Holt focused on her own work, traveling to Mexico, Basutoland, Andalusia, Yugoslavia, Morocco, Turkey, and Iceland to paint, as well as continuing to promote Bomberg's legacy.[1]

Exhibitions and Collections[edit]

Exhibitions of Holt's work include Paintings and Drawings by David Bomberg (1890-1957) and Lilian Holt (1971) at the Reading Museum and Art Gallery and her first solo exhibition, Lilian Holt: Paintings and Drawings (1980) at the Ben Uri Gallery, when she was in her seventies.[3] Posthumous exhibitions include the 1992 group exhibition Ten Decades: Careers of Ten Women Artists Born 1897-1906 at the Norwich Gallery and the 1985 solo exhibition A Tribute to Lilian Bomberg at Fischer Fine Art in London.[3]

Her painting Tajo, Ronda (1956) is in the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery.[1][6] She is also the subject of several paintings by Bomberg, including Lilian (1932) and Lilian Painting David (Painting Lilian) (1929).[7][8]

Tajo, Ronda (1956), oil paint on canvas, Tate Gallery.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Foster, Alicia (2004). Tate women artists. London: Tate. p. 118. ISBN 9781854373113.
  2. ^ Deanna Petherbridge, Deanna (1992). "Ten Decades". Women's Art Magazine. 46: 16–17 – via Art & Architecture Source.
  3. ^ a b c d Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford University Press. 2011.
  4. ^ Marr, Leslie. "Leslie Marr on the formation of the Borough Group". Borough Road Collection Archive.
  5. ^ Bomberg, Lilian. "Lillian [sic] Bomberg on the Founding of the Borough Group". Borough Road Collection Archive.
  6. ^ a b Tate. "'Tajo, Ronda', Lilian Holt, 1956 | Tate". Tate. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  7. ^ Tate. "'Lilian', David Bomberg, 1932 | Tate". Tate. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  8. ^ Tate. "'Lilian Painting David (Painting Lilian)', David Bomberg, 1929 | Tate". Tate. Retrieved 2018-03-15.

External links[edit]