William Holman Hunt

Date of birth: 1827 — Date of death: 1910

Artist. Son of a London warehouse manager, Hunt started his training as an office clerk and enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools in 1843. He was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed in 1848. Hunt was inspired by John Ruskin's (1819-1900) Modern Painters and the poetry of John Keats (1795-1821). He exhibited The Eve of St Agnes at the Royal Academy in 1848 (arguably the first Pre-Raphaelite painting) which was admired by Ruskin. As a devout Anglican, Hunt provided the movement's moral earnestness. He left London for the Holy Land in January 1854 and returned in 1856. The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple, which was exhibited and sold in 1860, was to secure Hunt's finances and reputation as an artist. Hunt ceased to exhibit at the Royal Academy after 1874, showing instead at the Grosvenor and New Galleries. He moved to Fulham in 1882 where he completed thirty-two paintings shown at the Fine Art Society in 1886. Hunt married Fanny Waugh in 1865 who died in Florence less than a year later after the birth of their son Cyril. His second marriage was to Fanny's sister, Edith, in 1875. His memoirs were published in 1905. A retrospective exhibition was mounted in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow in 1906-1907.