William Holyoake was a genre and historical painter.
Holyoake, who was twice Curator of one of the Royal Academy Schools, was also an active exhibitor between 1858 and 1885, showing at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Royal Society of British Artists in London, as well as at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Manchester City Art Gallery. G. Reynolds likened the females in his In the Front Row of the Opera to Dante Gabriel Rossetti's 'stunners'.
Holyoake was elected a member of the Society of British Artists in 1879, becoming its Vice-President in 1887, while JW was President. In 1888 Holyoake was among those who called for JW's resignation (#05321). However, the two men had been on good terms, and on 17 May 1884 Holyoake had been invited to the private view of 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1884 (#08682).
Reynolds, G., Painters of the Victorian Scene (1953); Wood, Christopher, Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge, 1971; Johnson, J., and Anna Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980.