Research Paper

The Petries and the Pre-Raphaelites: Hilda Urlin and Henry Holiday



The Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology, University College London (UCL) has recently received a generous donation of a framed pencil study of a young woman’s head, identified as Hilda Petrie (née Urlin). Over the past 12 months, the biography of this intriguing sketch has been reconciled from archival and art historical sources in preparation for its display as the centrepiece of the Petrie Museum’s newly refurbished entrance gallery. Three key characters are associated with this drawing: the Pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday, Hilda Urlin, and her husband William Matthew Flinders Petrie, whose life stories are closely linked. Here, the background to the artist, the sitter, and her well-known husband will be presented in the contemporary context of late 19th and early 20th century archaeology in Egypt.

Keywords: Pre-Raphaelites, Petrie Museum, Archaeology, Henry Holiday, Egyptology, Flinders Petrie, Hilda Petrie

How to Cite: Garnett, A. (2021) “The Petries and the Pre-Raphaelites: Hilda Urlin and Henry Holiday”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 30(1). doi: