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William Holman Hunt: Painter, Painting, Paint [Hardcover]

Carol Jacobi
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 55.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Oct 2006 0719072883 978-0719072888
This is a fundamental reassessment of the work of William Holman Hunt, and the first critical text to reproduce his pictures in colour and set him on an international stage. Introducing a new critique of the autobiography and drawing on hundreds of private letters, drawings and paintings, the author depicts a radical man of his times, deeply troubled by the pivotal concerns of the materialist age - the isolation of the individual, the collapse of faith and the status of art - and seeking solutions through a systematic testing of the extremes of painting. A close examination of the pictures, including neglected later works, combined with recent scientific research relate the physical act of painting, and the paint, back to the body of the artist. Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, this book answers the longstanding lack of any monograph on Hunt and will make compelling reading for undergraduate and graduate students of History of Art, Victorian Studies, English Literature and Religious Studies, as well as curators, conservators and the artist s many admirers.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press (30 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719072883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719072888
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.9 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,409,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


A fascinating appraisal of Hunt's work which superbly describes the artist's work in its historical and biographical context. Jacobi's analysis casts a great deal of light on the prejudices of earlier critics, she also usefully, assesses the artist's orginality in the light of recent scholarship on the cultural pillars of the nineteenth century The paintings reporduced here, in all their vivid fightfulness, suddenly seem all the more fascinating as a result of this captivating book. Timothy Brittain-Catlin, The Tablet --Timothy Brittain-Catlin, The Tablet

Carol Jacobi has written a fascinating appraisal of Hunt's work which superbly describes the artist's work in its historical and biographical context. Jacobi's analysis casts a great deal of light on the prejudices of earlier critics. --Timothy Brittain-Catlin, The Tablet

About the Author

Carol Jacobi is Associate Lecturer in the Department of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College and teaches History of Art at Westminster School

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Holman Hunt:Painter, Painting, Paint 12 Nov 2010
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I was really disappointed in the photographs of William Holman Hunt in the book. A lot of them were in black and white! Those that were shown were small and did not in the least do Hunt's work any justice. The author could have given a precis of Hunt's life and work but she maintained that other people have already done this, including Hunt in an autobiography.

I bought the book after viewing some of Hunt's work at Manchester art gallery, and I fell in love with his style - the amount of work that must have gone into each painting is phenominal.

I would have appreciated more information about the book's content, especially an example of the photography before buying the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art Lovers Need This. 5 Jun 2010
By Armchair Pundit VINE VOICE
Any Art lover who enjoys looking at paintings by a Artist totally in command of his craft, should look no further then the Art of William Holman Hunt. A deeply religious man whose many paintings were inspired from the Bible. This book goes into more detail about Hunt's private life then any other I have ever read, but it's the reproduced paintings that make this book stand out for me.
As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words,in this case how true.
Just one example of a painting which amply demonstrates his painterly prowess is a painting from 1852 called, "Our English Coasts" check out the light on the grass in the background and the sunlight shining through the ear of the sheep close'st to the front of the painting.
Truly Outstanding.
If you enjoy paintings by Hunt you may also like other members of the P.R.B. namely Ford Madox Brown and John Everett Millais.
I can assure you, you will not be disappointed.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She knows her stuff 26 Oct 2006
Carol Jacobi really knows her stuff when it comes to the Pre-raphaelites and nineteenth century british art in general and she makes you think in new ways about the subject. Well worth a read.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Not what I expected it to be. 18 May 2008
By Josef K - Published on Amazon.com
This is an academic text. It reads like someone's doctoral thesis, and may have been that in an earlier incarnation. All of Hunt's major paintings are reproduced here, but in low quality on matte paper, intended only to help illuminate the text. This is a book written for and directed to an academic audience, and few others will find it useful.

WILLIAM HOLMAN HUNT: PAINTER, PAINTING, PAINT suffers from the usual maladies of post-modern academic writing. Citation and quotation substitute for genuine thought and reason. The author's psychological inability to accept any form of "truth" or "falsehood" results in a continuous, mind killing dither from position to position and theme to theme, never resting firmly enough to be pinned down. Anyone who has been through a liberal arts education in the past twenty years will understand what I mean. If you had enough of that in college, this is not the book for you. If you are working on your Ph.D on Pre-Raphaelitism, on the other hand, then this book is an essential! [but, if so, you probably know that already]

I am mystified by Jacobi's premise that Hunt's paintings are unattractive, "ugly", or aesthetically eccentric. Perhaps this is the traditional academic view and Jacobi is bound by her profession to respond to it, but Hunt's work has always been popular and considered beautiful by lay audiences. I am no art scholar, only a man among the plebeian crowd, but I find Hunt's paintings unimpeachably gorgeous. One suspects many academics' real issue with Hunt is/was not aesthetic at all, but ideological. He was one of those boring Christian-idealist types... "Oh, the horror!"

The most interesting part of the book was Jacobi's chapter on Hunt's painting materials and techniques, which any Hunt fan would enjoy.

I give this book three out of five stars, if only because it is a whole substantial volume about William Holman Hunt. There aren't enough of those. And he's my favorite.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars multifaceted study of 19th-century British painter 13 Feb 2007
By Henry Berry - Published on Amazon.com
Jacobi "attempt[s] to rationalise Hunt's problematic aesthetic." One English art writer said of the Victorian-era/pre-Raphaelite English artist Hunt's works that they "are not good-looking." "Garish," "crude," "sharp and severe" are other terms that have been applied to Hunt's paintings. Jacobi does not disagree that such descriptions apply. But seeing that Hunt was a skilled painter with technical command, was self consciousness about the subjects he chose and the style he applied, and had a sharp eye (some have said he could see the moons of Jupiter with his naked eye), she looks more deeply into Hunt's works for the psychological, cultural, and religious bases of them. Basically, the lecturer and teacher of art and visual studies at two English educational institutions finds that Hunt's "anachronistic" Christian beliefs "impelled him to test the extremities of his art against modern circumstance." Working from the mid 1800s to the first years of the 1900s, the religiously-minded Hunt experienced an ineluctable modernism to make paintings that "are not failed imaginings of a comfortable middlebrow fantasy, but successful investigations of uncomfortable, not wholly controllable, individual actuality." While Jacobi's acute, multi-sided study (as the subtitle suggests) does not presume to elevate Hunt beyond his standing as a particularly interesting nineteenth-century English artist, it does discern and clearly define challenges Hunt presents to art historians and critics; and does resolve the primary ones through extensive biographical research, historical and sociological study of the period, and expert art critic skills, understandings, and insights.
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