|Artist||after William Holman Hunt|
|Published||J. S. Virtue & Co. Ltd By Permission of Mr L. H. Lefevre, c. 1893|
|Dimensions||Image 270 x 134 mm, Sheet 317 x 241 mm|
A photogravure of Holman Hunt's painting of Jesus, from the Art Journal. The Art Journal originally opposed the emerging Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with its articles attacking the the movement and its supporter, John Ruskin. When the editor, Samuel Carter Hall, retired in 1880, the Art Journal changed its stance.
The Light of the World is not only one of the defining works of Pre-Raphaelitism, but one of the most celebrated paintings of the Victorian period. Christ is depicted as a king. He is adorned with a second crown of thorns and a decorated mantle. In his right hand he carries a lantern, whilst he knocks on the door of a cottage with his left. The subtleties of the symbolism and the scriptural basis of the work are by now a thing of anecdote. The original work resides in the chapel of Keble College, Oxford, after the widow of Thomas Combe donated the work in 1872.
William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) was a Victorian painter, etcher and watercolourist. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1844 where he met John Everett Millais, who was to become his closest friend. He was a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and adhered to their principles throughout a long career in the arts. From the 1870's onwards, Hunt concentrated on religious themes informed by successive visits to the Holy Land. He was not the first nineteenth-century artist to journey to the East; David Wilkie and David Roberts were but a few that had gone before him. He was however the first to depict the land with such imaginative grandeur and minute detailing. He published his autobiographical Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1905.