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      //Biog.//


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      william holman hunt




      Sir William Blake Richmond
      William Holman Hunt (Detail)
      The National Portrait Gallery, London



      //Biog.//
      WILLIAM HOLMAN HUNT (Artist)


      • Born: 2 April 1827
      • Birth place: London, UK
      • Married: Fanny Waugh, Edith Waugh
      • Date of death: 7 September 1910


    • As a matter of local interest (i.e. it matters to me as I'm from near there!), for many years William Holman Hunt was a resident in Ewell, Surrey, south east of London. Indeed, he even married in the local church, St. Mary the Virgin, on the old London Road. Hunt painted one of his most famous pictures, The Hireling Shepherd (1851), nearby, close to where John Everett Millais was painting the background to his famous Ophelia painting at the same time. Another of his pictures, Cornfield at Ewell is owned by Tate Britain.

      His father, a warehouse manager, reluctantly allowed him to enter the Royal Academy schools in 1844, where he met Millais. Profoundly influenced by his discovery of John Keats and his reading of John Ruskin's Modern Painters in 1847, Hunt developed a new approach to painting which involved the expression of significant moral ideas in a completely natural manner. To this end he evolved an intensely realistic technique, using brilliant, clear colors on a white ground instead of the traditional dark underpainting. These new ideas are embodied in his illustration inspired by Keats's The Eve of St. Agnes.

      Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Hunt, and Millais founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. Despite Ruskin's defense of the Brotherhood in the Times, the hostile reception of Hunt's paintings in the Academy almost caused him to abandon painting. However, with Ruskin's praise for his work, Hunt began to gain recognition, and he turned almost exclusively to the portrayal of religious themes.

      Hunt was passionately determined to ensure absolute truth to nature in the rendering of his subjects. He painted most of the Light of the World outside by moonlight, and the Scapegoat (1854) was painted beside the Dead Sea on the first of Hunt's many journeys to the Holy Land in search of authentic settings for his biblical scenes.

      In 1865 Hunt married Fanny Waugh; within a year, after the birth of their son, she died. In 1873 he married her sister, Edith Waugh, though this was done abroad as at the time it was illegal in Britain to marry one's deceased sister.

      After about 1860 Hunt was acknowledged as a leading English painter, but he became increasingly isolated from contemporary trends by his long absences abroad and his continuing adherence to the ideals and realistic technique of the Pre-Raphaelite style. Following Rossetti's death in 1882, Hunt began a vigorous defense of these ideals and of his role in their formation with a series of articles which culminated in his remarkable autobiography (1905-1906).

      Although Hunt was obsessed throughout his life with light and its effect on color, his popularity was to a large extent founded on his vivid religious imagery, which received wide circulation in the form of engravings. He had to give up painting towards the end of his life due to failing eyesight.

      Hunt was awarded the Order of Merit in 1905, and his importance was recognized in a series of major exhibitions. He died on Sept. 7, 1910.





      william holman hunt





      //Gallery//
      WILLIAM HOLMAN HUNT



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      //Prints//
      WILLIAM HOLMAN HUNT



      Print
      William Holman Hunt
      The Awakening Conscience
      Cotton Canvas Print



      Print
      William Holman Hunt
      English Coast Sheep
      Cotton Canvas Print



      Print
      William Holman Hunt
      Light of the World
      Cotton Canvas Print







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