(1810–44). English artist. Born in London, to Russian émigrés, Holst studied under Fuseli from 1820 and at the RA Schools (see under London) from 1824. He so absorbed his master's style that his early drawings have often been confused with Fuseli's. His precocious talent led to patronage from Lawrence including erotic drawings for George IV. In 1827 he first exhibited at the RA with a subject from Goethe's Faust (lost) and, pursuing his interest in German Romantic themes, both literary and artistic, visited Retzsch in Dresden in 1829. Fuseli's influence was now modified by that of the Nazarenes; Germanic illustrations to Frankenstein (1831) and Dante followed. After Victoria's accession in 1837 Holst, sensing a change in taste, painted less dramatic subjects including The Bride (1842; priv. coll.), which may have inspired Rossetti, a great admirer, to begin his single female figure subjects.
From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.