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Charles John Holmes, RWS NEAC (1868-1936) was both a landscape artist and an art historian. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he initially worked for publishers, including the Vale Press, which was founded by Charles Ricketts. It was Ricketts who encouraged him to develop his self-taught skills of drawing and painting, and, in 1900, he began to exhibit at the New English Art Club, becoming a member four years later (on the same day as John Singer Sargent). By then he had established himself as a significant critic and historian of art, with publications that included Constable and his Influence on Landscape (1902). He served as co-editor of the new art periodical, The Burlington Magazine (1903-9), and was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford (1904-10). He was Director of the National Portrait Gallery (1909-16) and then the National Gallery (1916-28), and did much to popularise the collection of the latter by establishing departments responsible for photography and publishing. He was knighted in 1921 and appointed KCVO in 1928. In 1929, the year that the present portrait drawing was published, he was elected a full member of the Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colours. As a painter, he is remembered for the landscapes and industrial scenes that he produced in Northern England.