Speaker: Dr Nicholas Tromans, Kingston University
York Islamic Art Circle
William Holman Hunt was one of the original members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in London in 1848. According to his own account, Hunt was the only member of the group to remain strictly loyal to its founding principles of realism and precision.
This talk will explore how Hunt’s commitment to visual truth led him to become the most important and original British artistic interpreter of Palestine during the age of Imperialism. With characteristic determination, Hunt not only visited but lived in Jerusalem for extended periods, immersing himself in the turbulent religious politics of the period. These experiences led the artist to create landscapes, biblical scenes, and the iconic Scapegoat.
Hunt’s attitudes towards Islam and Islamic art were of course fundamental to his career in the Middle East. Dr Tromans will suggest that by looking at the case of Hunt, we are able to understand how ideas about Islam informed Western realism’s self-identity.
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