Kelly Holmes

© National Portrait Gallery, London

7 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Buy a greetings card Make a donation Close

Kelly Holmes

by Craig Wylie
oil on canvas, 2012
68 in. x 45 3/8 in. (1728 mm x 1152 mm)
Commissioned as part of the First Prize, 2008 BP Portrait Award, 2012
Primary Collection
NPG 6944

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Craig Wylie (1973-), Artist. Artist or producer of 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Sittings for this portrait took place in late 2011. The scale of the work is important to the artist, for whom the act of painting creates 'a kind of hyperreality through amplification', appropriately reflecting the sitter's own extraordinary achievements.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Smartify image discovery app
  • Rab MacGibbon, National Portrait Gallery: The Collection, p. 122
  • Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 280 Read entry

    Athlete Kelly Holmes joined the army at the age of eighteen, at the same time continuing the athletics training she had begun at school. In 1994 she won the 1500m in the Commonwealth Games. Holmes became a professional athlete in 1997 and, despite suffering injury, won a bronze medal in the 800m at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. A string of wins culminated in a British record-breaking performance at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, during which Holmes took two gold medals: in the 800m and the 1500m events. Holmes was awarded BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2004 and is Founder and Chair of the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, a charity that seeks to create life chances for young people through sport.

    The unveiling of this portrait in 2012 was timed to coincide with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sittings took place in late 2011, and artist Craig Wylie (b.1973) took a number of photographs of Holmes from which to work during these sessions. The large scale of this portrait is important to the artist, who has said that the act of painting creates ‘a kind of hyperreality through amplification’, reflecting the sitter’s extraordinary sporting achievements.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.


04 March 2016, 15:17

Holmes specialised in the 800 metres and 1500 metres events and won a gold medal for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She set British records in numerous events and still holds the records over the 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 metres distances.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.