One of the joys of the internet is the growing amount of art history available from various sources. Here, Minnesota Public Radio gives us a lesson in the Pre-Raphaelite leader Edward Holman Hunt:
“The Scapegoat” and “The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple” which, in 1866, sold for 5,500 pounds sterling. At the time, it was most ever paid for a painting by a living artist. This is the first time it has been shown in the U.S. Hunt was a product of his age. A Londoner, living at the birth of the industrial revolution who Jacobi says saw himself as an artist and a scientist.
“In the 19th century, everything is up for grabs, everything is being questioned, everything is being redefined,” says Jacobi.
Including the very notions of painting. As an art student William Holman Hunt chafed against the artistic conventions of the time. They followed strict formulas, and often involved actual copying of old masters.
Hunt and six other disaffected painters and writers formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. It was a secret society dedicated to principles which were to revolutionize 19th century art.
“The basic premise of this style was, instead of copying and using a formula for painting things, they would actually paint everything from life,” says Jacobi.