Wednesday, August 26, 2009

William Holman Hunt - The Hireling Shepherd


1851
The more you look at this picture, the odder it becomes. The subject is from Shakespeare's King Lear, from Edgar's song about a shepherd neglecting his flock. Notice that he is showing her a death's head moth, her lamb is eating an apple (which will make it ill), the flock of sheep are in real trouble, straying and with one on its back. The colours clash and it isn't a scene of idyllic harmony at all.

5 comments:

Demented Demon. said...

Awfully complex and sums up the intriging character of William Holman Hunt.

Hermes said...

Absolutely agree - a complex genius.

Minerva said...

Thanks for the link - I thought I remembered the wandering sheep had something to do with difficulties in the established church.

Hermes said...

That's useful to consider - many thanks.

cheap viagra said...

there's no tale about shepherds that isn't overrated, this one is particularly mediocre.