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William Holwell-Carr (1758-1830), Priest; art dealer; art collector; painter

Sitter in 2 portraits
Born William Holwell, he acquired the additional surname Carr in 1798. After graduating from Exeter College, Oxford, he travelled to Italy, where he studied art and began the picture buying which was to become his lifelong passion. In 1791, he was presented with the rich benefice of Menheniot in Cornwall by his old college. He never lived there, paying a curate to fulfil his duties for him, but his salary helped fund his art collecting. He devoted his energies to improving his collection. He bequeathed his entire collection to the nation; six months after his death his collection of thirty-five Old Masters, including a Canaletto and a Rubens, was delivered to the National Gallery, London.