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Holl established himself as a leading social realist in the 1870s and many of his subsequent works dwelled on the subjects of tragedy, death, and mourning. He believed in depicting truth rather than beauty. Intended to expose and highlight the harsh realities of life for working class people, ironically social realist paintings were popular purchases amongst the middle classes. Newgate was a debtors’ prison in the East End of London.
oil on canvas
H 71 x W 97 cm
gift from Robert Taylor Heape, 1910