Hollams, Florence Mabel Fox / née (1877-1963)

Florence Mabel Hollams is renown for her portraits of horses and dogs. She studied under artist Frank Calderon (artist of portraits, landscapes, figure subjects and sporting pictures) and at The Académie Julian art school in Paris. The Académie Julian was unusual at the time because it accepted and trained women artists. Hollams was most active as a painter in the early part of the 20th century, her major exhibitions taking place between 1899 and 1929. She was one of the first female members of the Royal Academy, exhibiting eight paintings, and was elected to the Society of Women Artists in 1899.

Hollams is noted for her unusual interest in painting on wood allowing the natural grain to show beneath and around her subjects. The style of her work is very life-like and detailed. As well as horses and dogs, her subjects also included some flowers and human figures. Typically her works are signed, dated and sometimes include the name of the subject.

Hollams was married to land agent Charles Lionel Fox who worked for the Fairlawne Estate, Tonbridge, Kent. The Fairlawne Estate was owned by the Cazelet family, who were well-known racehorse owners and trainers. Major Peter Cazalet was the trainer of horses owned by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother – who used to stay at the estate on visits. In addition to the Cazalets, Hollams patrons included the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Sefton, and Lord Cornwallis.

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