The Info List - William Holman Hunt

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William Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt
OM (2 April 1827 – 7 September 1910) was an English painter and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His paintings were notable for their great attention to detail, vivid color, and elaborate symbolism. These features were influenced by the writings of John Ruskin
John Ruskin
and Thomas Carlyle, according to whom the world itself should be read as a system of visual signs. For Hunt it was the duty of the artist to reveal the correspondence between sign and fact. Of all the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Hunt remained most true to their ideals throughout his career. He was always keen to maximize the popular appeal and public visibility of his works.[1]


1 Biography 2 Awards and commemoration 3 Partial list of works 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Biography[edit] William Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt
changed his surname from "Hobman Hunt" to Holman Hunt when he discovered that a clerk had misspelled the name after his baptism at the Anglican
church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Ewell, England.[2] After eventually entering the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
art schools, having initially been rejected, Hunt rebelled against the influence of its founder Sir Joshua Reynolds. He formed the Pre-Raphaelite movement in 1848, after meeting the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Along with John Everett Millais
John Everett Millais
they sought to revitalise art by emphasising the detailed observation of the natural world in a spirit of quasi-religious devotion to truth. This religious approach was influenced by the spiritual qualities of medieval art, in opposition to the alleged rationalism of the Renaissance
embodied by Raphael. He had many pupils including Robert Braithwaite Martineau. Hunt married twice. After a failed engagement to his model Annie Miller, he married Fanny Waugh, who later modelled for the figure of Isabella. When she died in childbirth in Italy, he sculpted her tomb at Fiesole, having it brought down to the English Cemetery in Florence, beside the tomb of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. He had a close connection with St. Mark's Church in Florence, and paid for the communion chalice inscribed in memory of his wife. His second wife, Edith, was Fanny's sister. At the time it was illegal in Great Britain to marry one's deceased wife's sister, so Hunt travelled abroad to marry her. This led to a grave conflict with other family members, notably his former Pre-Raphaelite colleague Thomas Woolner, who had once been in love with Fanny and had married Alice, the third sister of Fanny and Edith. Hunt's works were not initially successful, and were widely attacked in the art press for their alleged clumsiness and ugliness. He achieved some early note for his intensely naturalistic scenes of modern rural and urban life, such as The Hireling Shepherd
The Hireling Shepherd
and The Awakening Conscience. However, it was for his religious paintings that he became famous, initially The Light of the World (1851–1853), now in the chapel at Keble College, Oxford, England; a later version (1900) toured the world and now has its home in St Paul's Cathedral, London, England. In the mid-1850s Hunt travelled to the Holy Land
Holy Land
in search of accurate topographical and ethnographical material for further religious works, and to employ his “powers to make more tangible Jesus Christ’s history and teaching”;[3] there he painted The Scapegoat, The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple, and The Shadow of Death, along with many landscapes of the region. Hunt also painted many works based on poems, such as Isabella and The Lady of Shalott. He eventually built his own house in Jerusalem.[4] He eventually had to relinquish painting because failing eyesight meant that he could not achieve the quality that he wanted. His last major works, including a large version of The Light of the World, were completed with the help of his assistant, Edward Robert Hughes. Hunt died on 7 September 1910 and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
in London, England.[5] Awards and commemoration[edit] Hunt published an autobiography in 1905.[6] Many of his late writings are attempts to control the interpretation of his work. That year, he was appointed to the Order of Merit
Order of Merit
by King Edward VII. At the end of his life he lived in Sonning-on-Thames. His personal life was the subject of Diana Holman-Hunt's book My Grandfather, his Life and Loves.[7] The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
was depicted in two BBC
period dramas. The first, The Love School, in 1975, starred Bernard Lloyd as Hunt. The second was Desperate Romantics, in which Hunt is played by Rafe Spall.[8] Facing Mar Elias Monastery
Mar Elias Monastery
is a stone bench erected by the wife of the painter, who painted some of his major works at this spot. The bench is inscribed with biblical verses in Hebrew, Greek, Arabic
and English. Partial list of works[edit]

A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids (1850) Valentine Rescuing Sylvia from Proteus
Valentine Rescuing Sylvia from Proteus
(1851) The Awakening Conscience
The Awakening Conscience
(1853) The Light of the World (1854) The Scapegoat (1856) The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1860) The Shadow of Death
The Shadow of Death
(1871) The Importunate Neighbour
The Importunate Neighbour
(1895) The Miracle of the Holy Fire (1899)


May Morning on Magdalen Tower (1890)

Christ and the two Marys (1847 & 1897)

The Hireling Shepherd
The Hireling Shepherd

The Lantern Maker's Courtship, A Street Scene in Cairo (1854–56)

Portrait of Fanny Holman Hunt, (1866–67)

Isabella and the Pot of Basil
Isabella and the Pot of Basil

The Birthday (1868)

Amaryllis (1884)

The Lady of Shalott
The Lady of Shalott

See also[edit]

External video

Hunt's Claudio and Isabella, Smarthistory

Hunt's The Awakening Conscience, Smarthistory

English school of painting List of Pre-Raphaelite paintings List of Orientalist artists Orientalism


^ Judith Bronkhurst, ‘Hunt, William Holman (1827–1910)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 ^ Amor, Anne Clark (1989). William Holman Hunt: the True Pre-Raphaelite. London: Constable. p. 15. ISBN 0094687706.  ^ Hunt, W.H., Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; London: Macmillan; 1905, Vol. 1, p. 349 ^ Victorian Web ^ Find A Grave ^ Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood ^ British watercolours in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 26 August 2014.  ^ BBC, BBC
Drama Production presents Desperate Romantics
Desperate Romantics
for BBC

Further reading[edit]

Landow, George (1979). William Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt
and Typological Symbolism. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02196-8.  Maas, Jeremy (1984). Holman Hunt and the Light of the World. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-85967-683-0.  Bronkhurst, Judith (2006). William Holman Hunt : A Catalogue Raisonné. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10235-2.  Lochnan, Katharine (2008). Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision. Art Gallery of Toronto. ISBN 978-1-894243-57-5. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Holman Hunt.

has original works written by or about: William Holman Hunt

William Holman Hunt's The Scapegoat: Rite of Forgiveness/Transference of Blame Works by Holman Hunt at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery's Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource Holman Hunt Manuscripts, John Rylands Library, University of Manchester Archival Material at Leeds University Library

v t e

William Holman Hunt


Rienzi vowing to obtain justice for the death of his young brother, slain in a skirmish between the Colonna and the Orsini factions A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids The Hireling Shepherd Valentine Rescuing Sylvia from Proteus Our English Coasts, 1852 ('Strayed Sheep') The Awakening Conscience The Light of the World The Scapegoat The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple Isabella and the Pot of Basil The Shadow of Death The Miracle of the Holy Fire


Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood The Germ Hogarth Club Diana Holman-Hunt (granddaughter) The Love School (1975 miniseries) Desperate Romantics
Desperate Romantics
(2009 miniseries)

v t e

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

William Holman Hunt John Everett Millais Dante Gabriel Rossetti James Collinson William Michael Rossetti Frederic George Stephens Thomas Woolner

Associated artists and figures

George Price Boyce John Brett Ford Madox Brown Richard Burchett Edward Burne-Jones Georgiana Burne-Jones John Collier Charles Allston Collins Frank Cadogan Cowper Evelyn De Morgan Walter Deverell Henry Treffry Dunn William Dyce Henry Holiday Arthur Hughes Edward Robert Hughes Frederic Leighton Robert Braithwaite Martineau Louisa Beresford, Marchioness of Waterford William Morris Alexander Munro Joseph Noel Paton Valentine Cameron Prinsep Christina Rossetti John Ruskin Frederick Sandys Thomas Seddon Elizabeth Siddal James Smetham Rebecca Solomon Simeon Solomon John Roddam Spencer Stanhope Marie Spartali Stillman Algernon Charles Swinburne Henry Wallis John William Waterhouse William Lindsay Windus

Some well-known works (period and post-period)

Ophelia Proserpine Christ in the House of His Parents A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids Ecce Ancilla Domini Mariana The Light of the World Our English Coasts ('Strayed Sheep') The Scapegoat Paolo and Francesca da Rimini The Last of England Work The Awakening Conscience The Hireling Shepherd April Love Found Bocca Baciata Oxford Union murals Lady Lilith Mary Magdalene The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple Beata Beatrix The Shadow of Death A Vision of Fiammetta Pygmalion and the Image series The Beloved Flaming June Cymon and Iphigenia King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid The Day Dream Dante and Beatrice Love's Messenger The Magic Circle The Legend of Briar Rose Lilith The Lady of Shalott Hylas and the Nymphs Lady Godiva


Elizabeth Siddal Fanny Cornforth Effie Gray Sophy Gray Annie Miller Jane Morris Marie Spartali Stillman Alexa Wilding Maria Zambaco Dorothy Dene Fanny Eaton Ruth Herbert


The Germ Hogarth Club Morris & Co. Rossetti and His Circle
Rossetti and His Circle
(1922 book) Dante's Inferno (1967 film) The Love School (1975 series) Desperate Romantics
Desperate Romantics
(2009 series) Effie Gray
Effie Gray
(2014 film)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 73884600 LCCN: n83227381 ISNI: 0000 0000 8393 9822 GND: 118775332 SUDOC: 029502608 BNF: cb121116779 (data) ULAN: 500001633 MusicBrainz: 86135a18-1849-4482-b863-8c694acd02d3 NLA: 35214356 NKC: ola2003192322 BNE: XX995899 RKD: 40