William Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt Galleries
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. 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.
The Hireling Shepherd, 1851Hunt'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), having toured the world. 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 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. Related Paintings of William Holman Hunt :. | The Awakening Conscience | The Light of the World | Claudio and Isabella | The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple | Dante Gabriel Rossetti |
Related Artists:Antoon Claeissens
(his name is given in many varieties, with his first name rendered as Anton, Anthonie, Anthony, Anthuenis, and his surname as Claes, Claesz, Claeis, Claeiss, Claessens and Claeissins), the son of Pieter Claes the elder, painted historical and allegorical subjects, and portraits. He was a native of Bruges, and there entered the Guild of St. Luke in 1575, and became its dean in 1586, 1590, and 1601. He died in 1613. His works, several of which are in the Hôtel-de-Ville and churches of Bruges, are distinguished by their fine colouring and finish. In the H6tel-de-Ville is a 'Grand Banquet' with many portraits of magistrates of the time, dated 1574.
His son, Pieter Anthonie, was dean of the Guild of St. Luke at Bruges in 1607, and died in 1608.
Russian Painter, 1869-1940Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes Art Galleries
Born in Lyons on Dec. 14, 1824, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes belonged to the generation of Gustave Courbet and ??douard Manet, and he was fully aware of their revolutionary achievements. Nevertheless, he was drawn to a more traditional and conservative style. From his first involvement with art, which began after a trip to Italy and which interrupted his intention to follow the engineering profession that his father practiced, Puvis pursued his career within the scope of academic classicism and the Salon. Even in this chosen arena, however, he was rejected, particularly during the 1850s. But he gradually won acceptance. By the 1880s he was an established figure in the Salons, and by the 1890s he was their acknowledged master.
In both personal and artistic ways Puvis career was closely linked with the avant-grade. In the years of his growing public recognition, when he began to serve on Salon juries, he was consistently sympathetic to the work of younger, more radical artists. Later, as president of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts - the new Salon, as it was called - he was able to exert even more of a liberalizing influence on the important annual exhibitions.
Puvis sympathy to new and radical artistic directions was reflected in his own painting. Superficially he was a classicist, but his personal interpretation of that style was unconventional. His subject matter - religious themes, allegories, mythologies, and historical events - was clearly in keeping with the academic tradition. But his style eclipsed his outdated subjects: he characteristically worked with broad, simple compositions, and he resisted the dry photographic realism which had begun to typify academic painting about the end of the century. In addition, the space and figures in his paintings inclined toward flatness, calling attention to the surface on which the images were depicted. These qualities gave his work a modern, abstract look and distinguished it from the sterile tradition to which it might otherwise have been linked.
Along with their modern, formal properties, Puvis paintings exhibited a serene and poetic range of feeling. His figures frequently seem to be wrapped in an aura of ritualistic mystery, as though they belong in a private world of dreams or visions. Yet these feelings invariably seem fresh and sincere. This combination of form and feeling deeply appealed to certain avant-garde artists of the 1880s and 1890s. Although Puvis claimed he was neither radical nor revolutionary, he was admired by the symbolist poets, writers, and painters - including Paul Gauguin and Maurice Denis - and he influenced the neoimpressionist painter Georges Seurat.
During his mature career Puvis executed many mural paintings. In Paris he did the Life of St. Genevieve (1874-1878) in the Panth??on and Science, Art, and Letters (1880s) in the Sorbonne. In Lyons he executed the Sacred Grove, the Antique Vision, and Christian Inspiration (1880s) in the Mus??e des Beaux-Arts. He painted Pastoral Poetry (1895-1898) in the Boston Public Library. These commissions reflect the high esteem with which Puvis was regarded during his own lifetime. Among his most celebrated oil paintings are Hope (1872) and the Poor Fisherman (1881). He died in Paris on Oct. 10, 1898.