George Holmes was born in Ireland around 1771 and is described as an Irish illustrator and landscape draughtsman. He studied at RDS schools, winning a medal for landscape in 1789. He worked as an illustrator for the Sentimental and Masonic Magazine and the Copper Plate Magazine. He came to London in 1799, exhibiting at RA from then until 1802. In 1801 he published a book of sketches of a tour in Southern Ireland. In 1825 -26 he provided works for Ledwich's Antiquities of Ireland and Brewer's Beauties of Ireland.
During the 1830s he was sketching in Cornwall and a group of pencil sketches of Cornish scenes by him were sold by Bridger's Bookshop, Market Jew Street, Penzance in the 1960s. By 1841 he was living on Union Street, Plymouth and is described as an artist born in Ireland. Between 1841 and 43 he exhibited English and Irish views at R H A.