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William Holman Hunt Art Prints and Posters
Despite having the sort of name you'd buy in Harrods, William Holman Hunt came into the world, economy class in Victorian London's Cheapside where, deeming him destined for things dull and dismal, his warehouseman dad despatched him to the department of life marked 'pen pushing'. However, 12-year-old William had other ideas and, spurred on by dreams of having an enormous paint-stained beard and arty pals with names even longer and sillier than his own, he eventually acquired a place at the RA, a bush on his mush, and the friendship of John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the punks of pigment with whom he formed that posse of Victorian art homeboys, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Taking his subject matter from the Bible and Shakespeare and his work ethic from Sacher-Masoch, William whipped himself into a holy lather, creating epics like The Awakening Conscience and The Light of The World, using his trademark vibrant colours, exquisite detail, sublime line... and brushes. A stickler for historical and contextual authenticity, he took hols in the Holy Lands, met all 'manna' of interesting people, buildings and goats, then painted them, sometimes taking up to 10 years to finish a picture, with models and funds dropping like flies.
In 1860, the pain was taken out of his painting (in a financial sense) after he was given a sum of £5,500 for The Finding Of The Saviour In the Temple (brushed that off in a mere five years). William and his beard are now buried in the bit of St Paul's specially reserved for well known artists and their facial hair.Copyright Michael Cox