Artist William Holman Hunt

"William Holman Hunt holds a notorious place in art history as a co-founder, with Millais and Rossetti, of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood in 1848. He was the only member of the brotherhood to remain faithful to its original ideas throughout his career.Hunt was born in England in 1827. He studied at the Royal Academy, where he met a number of young artists who felt as he did about art, and hence the brotherhood was formed. The group was dismayed with what they saw as the stagnant state of British painting, with the abundance of genre scenes, and the 'academism' that was initiated by Raphael.The brotherhood endeavoured to recapture the simplicity of Italian art before Raphael. They attempted to find serious subjects to paint, which they painted direct from nature. They were very attentive to detail and attempted to envisage events as they would actually happen, rather than manipulating them to the rules of design. They were lovers of literature and were influenced by the Romantic poets, particularly Byron and Keats, painting numerous images inspired by scenes from their poems.The brotherhood received mixed critical response, with many outraged by their rejection of Raphael, whom many considered the greatest of old masters. However, many critics warmed to the group’s enthusiasm and dedication.By 1853 the group had fallen apart, but Hunt remained doggedly faithful to his artistic beliefs. In 1854 he travelled to Egypt and Palestine to paint biblical scenes with accurate local detail. Before his death in 1910 Hunt wrote an autobiography entitled, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelites.Hunt's work has retained a tremendous popularity to this day, particularly so because of his sincerity of intention and attention to detail."

 
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