William Holman Hunt
born April 2, 1827, London, Eng.
died Sept. 7, 1910, London
British artist and prominent member of the Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood. His style is characterized by clear, hard colour,
brilliant lighting, and careful delineation of detail.
In 1843 Hunt entered the Royal Academy schools where he met his
lifelong friend, the painter John Everett Millais. Publicopinion was
at first hostile toward Hunt; but, in 1854 “The Light of the World”
(Keble College, Oxford), an allegory of Christ knocking at the door
of the human soul, was championed by John Ruskin and brought Hunt
his first public success. In 1854 Hunt began a two-year visit to
Syria and Palestine, where he completed in 1855 “The Scapegoat,” a
painting depicting an outcast animal on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Among the most important of his later paintings are “The Triumph of
the Innocents” (two versions: 1884, Tate Gallery, London; 1885,
Liverpool), “May Morning on Magdalen Tower” (1889; Lady Lever Art
Gallery), and “The Miracle of the Sacred Fire” (1898), finished just
before his sight began to fail.