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.

Comments back to top

We are currently unable to accept new comments, but any past comments are available to read below.

If you need information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service . Please note that we cannot provide valuations. You can buy a print or greeting card of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at around £6 for unframed prints, £16 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Use this image button, or contact our Rights and Images service. 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.