Hunt, William Holman

BORN 2 Apr 1827, London: Cheapside - DIED 7 Sep 1910, London: Kensington
CAUSE OF DEATH complications of asthma
GRAVE LOCATION London: St. Paul's Cathedral

Founding member of the Preraphaelite Brotherhood. Het met John Millais at the price giving of the Royal Academy in 1843 and soon they became friends. In later years Thomas Woolner (also one of the founders of the Preraphaelite Brotherhood) argued that they even had a homosexual relationship.

When Dante Gabriel Rossetti saw his "The Eve of Saint Agnes" at the Royal Academy Exhibition in 1846 he was impressed, praised it loudly and started proclaiming poems by Shelley, Blake and Browning. Afterwards Rossetti and Hunt became friends. In 1851 Ruskin praised "Valentine and Sylvia" in two letters to The Times after it had been attacked by critics like Kingsley and Macaulay. Hunt had used the model Lizzy Siddal for the face of Sylvia, but exactly this choice was considered 'unfortunate' even by Ruskin.

In 1854 Hunt left for the Holy Land to paint biblic scenes at the authentic places. In 1856 he was rejected as a member of the Royal Academy with 39 votes against 1. He married Fanny Waugh in 1865, but she died after childbirth. Against the law, he married her sister Edith (1846-1931) in Switzerland in 1875. This led to a breach with painter Thomas Woolner, who had married Alice, the third sister. Only in 1907 the marriage became legal in England.

Work: "Our English Coasts" (1853, The Tate Gallery, London); "The Scapegoat" (1854-1855, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Birkenhead); "The Light of the World" (1853, Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University).

• Wife: Waugh, Fanny (1865-1866, London: Christ Church, Paddington)

Related persons
• was a friend of Collins, Charles Allston
• was a friend of Egg, Augustus Leopold
• has a connection with Hughes, Arthur
• was a friend of Lear, Edward
• was a friend of Millais, John
• painted Miller, Annie
• was engaged to Miller, Annie
• was a friend of Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
• was detested by Siddal, Elizabeth
• used as a model Siddal, Elizabeth

13/5/1851Ruskin praises Hunt's "Valentine and Sylvia" in The Times. Hunt's painting "Valentine and Sylvia" was exhibited at the The Royal Acadey at that time. Critics like Kingsley and Macauley attacked this work and the work of the Preraphaelites in general. The poet Coventry Patmore asked Ruskin to take action. Ruskin wrote two letters to The Times, praising the work. His only criticism was 'the commonness of feature' and 'the unfortunate type chosen for the face of Sylvia'. The model for Sylvia had been Lizzy Siddal. The painting was sold in November, 1852. [Ruskin, John][Siddal, Elizabeth]
1/5/1877Opening of Grosvenor Gallery, London. It was located at 135-137 New Bond Street and it was founded by Sir Coutts Lindsay, who wanted to exhibit paintings that weren't fit for the nearby located Royal Academy. Burne-Jones, Whistler, Watts, Legros, Moore, Hubert von Herkomer, James Tissot, Millais and Holman Hunt were among those who exhibited. Rossetti refused to cooperate because work by members of the Royal Academy was exhibited as well. [Burne-Jones, Edward][Millais, John][Rossetti, Dante Gabriel][Whistler, James MacNeill]
27/9/1889Wilkie Collins is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. According to his wishes he was buried in a simple grave. Among those present were his niece Jane Ward, Holman-Hunt, Pigott, George Redford, Edmund Yates, Charles Dickens the Younger, Frank Beard, Caroline Graves, Ada Cavendish, Arthur Pinero, Squire Bancroft, Sebastian Schlesinger, Andrew Chatto, A.P. Watt, Hall Caine and Edmund Gosse. In 1895 Caroline Graves was buried in the same grave. [Bancroft, Squire ][Cavendish, Ada][Collins, Wilkie][Dickens, Charles Culliford Boz][Graves, Caroline Elizabeth][Schlesinger, Sebastian]


"London Bridge on the Night of the Marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales".
   (1863-1866, Oxford: Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University)

• Holman-Hunt, Diana, My Grandfather, His Wives and Loves, Hamish-Hamilton, London, 1969
• Peters, Catherine, The King of Inventors, A Life of Wilkie Collins, Seeker & Warburg, London, 1991
• Wildman, Stephen, John Christian, Edward Burne-Jones 1833-1898, Un maître anglais de l'imaginaire, Réunion des Musées Nationeaux, Paris, 1999

Huschke, Wilhelm Ernst Christian

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 09 Oct 2022