Artwork Title: Self Portrait

Self Portrait, 1867

William Holman Hunt

Hunt's manner of depicting himself in his self portrait embodies the kind of complex public and private meanings that characterize his major works. The painting's chief private meanings for the artist — what we may term his family program — derive from the fact that Hunt began it as a companion-piece to his portrait of his first wife, Fanny, who died in Florence on Dec. 20, 1866, shortly after giving birth to their son, Cyril. The artist himself explained the relationship between these two works in a letter of Nov. 19, 1867, which he wrote to his close friend, the Rugby drawing master John Lucas Tupper. After mentioning the portrait medallion of Hunt that Tupper had exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1865, he added: I wish so much you had done one of my dear wife, that poor little Cyril, my baby, might have both father and mother to look at when another generation has found all of our places empty. I am busy here now... []
41 x 29 in
Uploaded on Oct 22, 2016 by Suzan Hamer

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