William Holman Hunt

William Holman Hunt

Infobox Person
name = William Holman Hunt

caption = self-portrait
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birth_date = Birth date|1827|4|2
birth_place = London
death_date = Death date and age|1910|9|7|1827|4|2
death_place = London
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nationality = British
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occupation = painter
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William Holman Hunt (b. 2 April 1827 in Cheapside, London – d. 7 September 1910 in Kensington, London) was a British painter. He was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Life and work

Hunt's intended middle name was "Hobman", which he disliked intensely. He chose to call himself Holman when he discovered that his middle name had been misspelled this way after a clerical error at his baptism at the church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Ewell. [Amor, Anne Clark, "William Holman Hunt: the True Pre-Raphaelite", Constable, London, 1989, p.15] Though his surname is "Hunt", his fame in later life led to the inclusion of his middle name as part of his surname, in the hyphenated form "Holman-Hunt", by which his children were known.

After eventually entering the 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 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 (best known for his work "Last Days in the Old Home") who was a moderately successful painter although he died young.

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" and "The Awakening Conscience". However, it was with his religious paintings that he became famous, initially "The Light of the World" (now in the chapel at Keble College, Oxford, with a later copy in St Paul's Cathedral), which toured Britain and the United States. After travelling to the Holy Land in search of accurate topographical and ethnographical material for further religious works, Hunt 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".

All these paintings were notable for their great attention to detail, their hard vivid colour and their elaborate symbolism. These features were influenced by the writings of 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. Out of all the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Hunt remained most true to their ideals throughout his career. He eventually had to give up painting because failing eyesight meant that he could not get the level of quality that he wanted. His last major work, "The Lady of Shalott", was completed with the help of an assistant (Edward Robert Hughes).

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 up at Fiesole, having it brought down to the English Cemetery, beside the tomb of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. His second wife, Edith, was Fanny's sister. At this time it was illegal in Britain to marry one's deceased wife's sister, so Hunt was forced to travel abroad to marry her. This led to a serious breach with other family members, notably his former Pre-Raphaelite colleague Thomas Woolner, who had married Fanny and Edith's third sister Alice.

Hunt's autobiography " [http://worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/8048610&referer=brief_results Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood] " (1905) was written to correct other literature about the origins of the Brotherhood, which in his view did not adequately recognise his own contribution. Many of his late writings are attempts to control the interpretation of his work.

In 1905, he was appointed to the Order of Merit by King Edward VII. At the end of his life he lived in Sonning-on-Thames.


Literary references

*Hunt's painting "The Hireling Shepherd" plays an important if enigmatic role in Brian Aldiss's "antinovel"::"Report on probability A" (1968, OCLC 44986)
*Other paintings and drawings feature in Aldiss's short story::"The Secret of Holman Hunt and the Crude Death Rate" (1975).
*Hunt's painting "The Awakening Conscience" is implicitly referenced in scenes in Michel Faber's novel::"The Crimson Petal and the White" (2002, ISBN 015100692X)
*Hunt's painting "The Awakening Conscience" is explicitly referenced in Evelyn Waugh's novel::"Brideshead Revisited" (1945, OCLC 964336)
*One painting of him is alluded to in Alan Hollinghurst's novel::"The Line of Beauty" (2004, ISBN 1582345082)
*Reproductions of Hunt's paintings are hung by the highly religious character Grandmamma in Lawrence Durrell's first novel::"Pied Piper of Lovers" (1935)

ee also

*English school of painting
*List of Pre-Raphaelite paintings — including the works of William Holman Hunt.

Further reading

*cite book
first= Jeremy
last= Maas
year= 1984
title= Holman Hunt and the Light of the World
publisher= Ashgate
isbn= 9780859676830


External links

* [http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/art.asp?aid=914 ArtRenewal.org] gallery
* [http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/pre-raphaelites/scapegoat/scapegoat.asp 'The Scapegoat' (1854)] at the [http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ladylever/index.aspx/ Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight]
* [http://www.english.uwosh.edu/roth/huntarticle.htm "William Holman Hunt's The Scapegoat: Rite of Forgiveness/Transference of Blame"]
* [http://www.all-art.org/neoclasscism/hunt1.html William Holman Hunt in the "History of Art"] — a paper by Albert Boime published originally in The Art Bulletin 84 no1 94-114 Mr 2002.
* [http://www.phryne.com/artists/03-78-63.HTM Phryne's list of pictures by Hunt in accessible UK collections]
* [http://www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/exhibitions/index.php?itemID=45 Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision, Saturday 11 October 2008 - Sunday 11 January 2009, Manchester Art Gallery] Free entry. A major new exhibition of William Holman Hunt and othe members of the Pre-Raphelite brotherhood is on display at Manchester Art Gallery until January 2009 - for the first time all versions of Hunt's most famous painting "The Light of the World" are on display together.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • William Holman Hunt — Retrato realizado por William Holman Hunt …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Holman Hunt — William Holman Hunt, um 1885; Fotografie (Woodburytypie) von Herbert Rose Barraud …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Holman Hunt — (Londres, 2 de abril de 1827 íd, 7 de septiembre de 1910) fue un pintor británico, uno de los fundadores de la Hermandad Prerrafaelita. Aunque estudió en la Royal Academy of Arts, rechazó el estilo impuesto por su fundador, Sir Joshua Reynolds.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • William Holman Hunt — The Shadow of Death …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Holman Hunt — noun Englishman and Pre Raphaelite painter (1827 1910) • Syn: ↑Hunt, ↑Holman Hunt • Instance Hypernyms: ↑Pre Raphaelite …   Useful english dictionary

  • Holman Hunt — Der gedungene Hirte, 1851 William Holman Hunt (* 2. April 1827 in London; † 7. September 1910 ebenda[1]) war ein britischer Maler und einer der Gründer der Gruppe der Präraffaeliten. Hunt war zuerst Mitglied der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Holman Hunt — noun Englishman and Pre Raphaelite painter (1827 1910) • Syn: ↑Hunt, ↑William Holman Hunt • Instance Hypernyms: ↑Pre Raphaelite * * * /hohl meuhn hunt / (William). See Hunt, William Holman. * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • Holman Hunt — /ˌhoʊlmən ˈhʌnt/ (say .hohlmuhn hunt) noun William William Holman → Hunt …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Hunt, (William)Holman — Hunt, (William) Holman. 1827 1910. British painter who with Rossetti and Millais founded the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. His works include The Light of the World (1854) and The Scapegoat (1856). * * * …   Universalium

  • Holman Hunt — /hohl meuhn hunt / (William). See Hunt, William Holman. * * * …   Universalium

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