Pretty girls in blue dresses at Ascot;
an elegant lady riding sidesaddle on a grey;
a male bystander in a grey "squash" hat with
distinctive black band (a self portrait of the
artist himelf); these are all hallmarks
of the work of Gilbert Holiday.
A consummate draughtsman trained in the
Royal Academy Schools, Holiday became
perhaps thegreatest action painter of the horse
in the history of equestrian art. Lionel Edwards,
his great contemporary, wrote "No one can, or
ever could, depict the horse in motion better
than Gilbert did"
First an unofficial war artist, then a gunner
in the Great War, Holiday survived after a
series of hairaising escapes. His images of life
and death at the Front are stamped with the
unmistakable hallmark of truth.
Holiday remained cheerful despite all the
tragedies of life.
After the War he concerntrated on depicting every
aspect of the sporting scene. His love
of people is obvious - pictures are enlivened
by human aswell as equine participants.
Holiday broke his back in a hunting accident
in April 1937 but continued to paint as
brilliantly as ever until pneumonia finished
him in the early days of 1937.