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Newgate, Committed for Trial

Photo credit: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

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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. Holl is commenting on the desperate situation faced by many workers, who weren’t paid enough to support a family.

Touchstones Rochdale



Newgate, Committed for Trial




oil on canvas


H 71 x W 97 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Robert Taylor Heape, 1910

Work type



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Touchstones Rochdale

The Esplanade, Rochdale, Greater Manchester OL16 1AQ England

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