Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holman Hunt and his religious truth

[Our English Coasts (Strayed Sheep)] 1852
[The Scapegoat] 1856
Hunt is often called the 'High Priest' of the PRB and his intense religious faith permeated his works. Our English Coasts was a commissioned work painted at Covehurst Bay, near Hastings. At first it was interpreted as a satire on the state of the English coasts against a possible French invasion but when it was sent to the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855, Hunt changed the title to Strayed Sheep to clearly link it to his other work on display there The Light of the World.
Our English Coasts was much admired by Ruskin and the light has been compaed to Turner. It won the Birmingham prize in 1852.

[Light of the World] 1853/4
Renamed it's reference to Isiah : 53 became obvious 'All we like sheep have gone astray' and Ruskin greatly admired its use of light on colour.
In 1854 Hunt left England for a two year journey to Egypt and Palestine and during his studies there he developed the theme for The Scapegoat, a subject from Leviticus, discussing the Day of Atonement ritual. The setting is Kharbet-Esdoum by the Black Sea, the site believed to be where the city of Sodom was.

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