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Luther Holden

Photo credit: The Foundling Museum

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Luther Holden was born in Birmingham, the son of a clergyman. He began work at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1846 and became a full Surgeon in 1865. He was elected Honorary Surgeon of the Foundling Hospital in 1864 and subsequently a Governor in 1868. He was elected a member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons the same year and subsequently held the post of President in 1879. He formally retired in 1880, leaving his house on Gower Street, London, to travel to Egypt, Australia, India, Japan and South Africa. He remained the Foundling Hospital’s Honorary Surgeon until his death. He also bequeathed this portrait and a large sum of money to the Hospital. Another portrait of Holden by Millais was presented to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1880.

The Foundling Museum





oil on canvas


H 124.4 x W 92.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by the sitter's estate, 1905

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London WC1N 1AZ England

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