William Holman Hunt's Isabella

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William Holman Hunt's Isabella

Postby Cath » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:09 pm

Do you remember William Holman Hunt's oil painting "Isabella and the Pot of Basil"?

Image

It was sold at Christie's today for £2.5 million (it was estimated to fetch £5-8 million). Delaware museum sold it to pay renovation debts. Hopefully it didn't go to a private collector and can continue to be viewed by the public in future....

http://www.christies.com/features/literary-inspirations-holman-hunt-isabella-and-the-4717-1.aspx

Sarah Wootton provides a comparison of Keats's Isabella with Hunt's Isabella in her book Consuming Keats: Nineteenth-Century Representations in Art and Literature (2006).
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: William Holman Hunt's Isabella

Postby Cath » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:15 pm

Just noticed Christie's refers to "Keats’s poem of 1884" - if only he had lived that long! :roll:

Should be 1818, of course; and Hunt's painting is from 1868.
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: William Holman Hunt's Isabella

Postby Saturn » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:40 pm

As Keats the Londoner might quite reasonably have said...blimey!
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Re: William Holman Hunt's Isabella

Postby Raphael » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:46 pm

I get annoyed when private people buy historical paintings and documents- they should be with archivists who know how to carefully preserve them. How many precious historical items may degrade because rich folks buy them and then show them off to their rich friends and don't care for them?
I am now looking into how to carefully store my 1830s paper fragment.

There is another Isabella painting in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

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Re: William Holman Hunt's Isabella

Postby Cybele » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:33 pm

Raphael, is there another version of the same painting by Holman Hunt? I know that several painters have done more than one version of their painting/s. (That would make me feel better about Isabella falling into private hands.)
There's currently an exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art that has several versions of van Gogh's paintings. Benjamin West created several versions of his huge (Yeah, most of his paintings were *huge*.) [img]Death%20of%20General%20Wolfe[/img].

The Detroit Institute of Arts has found itself in a terrible position. The drop in population, and the cash-strapped condition of many of the big companies in Detroit has put the museum in an unenviable position. As I understand things, they are still seriously considering selling several of their major pieces. It's so sad to see what was once one of the best museums in the country pretty much reduced to begging to stay afloat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Institute_of_Arts

Sometimes, private owners take excellent care of paintings and generously loan their property to museums. Let's hope that happens in this case.
Last edited by Cybele on Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: William Holman Hunt's Isabella

Postby Raphael » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:36 pm

John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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