Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sin and Salvation: Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision

For those of you in the Toronto area who have not yet had the chance to visit the Art Gallery of Ontario's current Pre-Raphaelite exhibit, there's still time! "Sin and Salvation: Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision" will be running until May 10, 2009. Sixty of William Holman Hunt's paintings are on display at the exhibit, including Isabella and the Pot of Basil, The Awakening Conscience and The Light of the World.

In addition to the paintings, the museum is also displaying the costumes that Hunt and his family used to pose for artworks (Hunt himself used to enjoy dressing up while he was painting--I saw a great photograph of him a while ago in full safari getup while he was painting The Scapegoat). It sounds like an amazing exhibit. I only wish I lived closer to Toronto!

For more information on the exhibit, please visit the Art Gallery of Ontario's website.


Thorsprincess said...

Ah, yes. Isabella and the Pot of Basil..the murdered lover's head preserved and loved in the cherished pot of basil by the devoted Isabel...

She wrapped it up; and for its tomb did choose
A garden-pot, wherein she laid it by,
And covered it with mould, and o'er it set
Sweet basil, which her tears kept ever wet.
And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees,
And she forgot the dells where waters run,
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze;
She had no knowledge when the day was done,
And the new morn she saw not, but in peace
Hung over her sweet basil evermore,
And moistened it with tears unto the core.

It is funny how well I remember the story of Keats' poem. I would like to see the painting.

Thanks for the post.

Hermes said...

Wish I lived closer too or they would do a virtual tour.

Tracy said...

Very much, I too, wish I was close...would love to see this special exhibit! Hermes has a great idea...a virtual tour would be the thing for us unable to be there! Thanks for visiting me, Margaret--so nice to see you in the comments. :o) ((HUGS))

Margaret said...

A virtual exhibit would be such a good idea! It's too bad that more museums and galleries don't provide virtual tours, though some of the larger ones do.

Vivian said...

Hi Margaret!
I was in Toronto at the beginning of March and did visit the exhibit.I am always in awe when I look at a 'real' painting. The early masters painted with a skill that is totally different from today, their handling of light is amazing.
I must admit I spent more time in the impressionalist show. Tom Thompson's private collection of Canadian art was on display. Many of these items had never been shown. He specified that there should be no labels, he wanted each piece to be studied on its own merits.

acornmoon said...

My husband and I recently stayed at Keble College in Oxford where we saw The Light of the World, I believe there are several versions? When we saw the painting in the chapel we were completely alone, we had to switch the light on to see it properly, it was so strange to see this painting in the "flesh", after having studied it as a student.

Margaret said...

How lucky that you were able to visit the exhibit, Vivian!

Maggie May said...

Wowie. That painting is fascinating and gorgeous. I love it.

Margaret said...

It is, isn't it? It's not as well known as a lot of Hunt's paintings, but it's definitely one of my favourites.

Rowan said...

I'd love to see this exhibition but am a bit too far away! I do have a wonderful alternative though as I have just bought a ticket for the John William Waterhouse exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in July. The exhibition runs from June 30th to Sept 13th for anyone who's interested and able to get there.

Hels said...

I agree with Vivian. You can see a painting 1000 times in a book or slide and still not "know" the painting well.

Spouse and I were in Canberra this past fortnight and saw the Degas exhibition. The Jane Avril poster by Toulouse Lautrec, an image I know very well, was on the wall. I was amazed at the details I had never noticed before!

Hopefully the Pre-Raphaelite paintings will come to an Australian gallery soon. Galleries used to think of Pre Raphaelite art as chocolate-boxy and not serious enough. Hopefully we have moved past that now.

Art and Architecture, mainly

Linda said...

For the first time ever, PRB paintings are being exhibited in Sweden, at Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

I'm really exited, and am going as soon as possible. The exhibition will end May 24. http://www.nationalmuseum.se

Thankyou for an exciting blog about pre-raphaelites! I read about "Desperate Romantics" here, and I've just recieved it from the library. Can't wait to read it!


Margaret said...

--Hels, thanks for stopping by! I love your comment about Pre-Raphaelite art being too "chocolate-boxy"--so true! It's amazing how many people feel compelled to dismiss something just because it's pretty.

--Welcome, Linda!I hope the book is great--you'll have to let us know what you think when you've finished it. How exciting that the works of the PRB are going to be exhibited in Sweden for the first time!