Godiva (1856) by William Holman Hunt

Godiva - William Holman Hunt - 1856

Artwork Information

ArtistWilliam Holman Hunt
MediumEngraving For Moxon Edition Of Tennyson
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About Godiva

William Holman Hunt’s “Godiva” painting portrays the heroine preparing for her ride to lift taxes on behalf of her subjects. The classical form depicted in this painting demonstrates Hunt’s attention to detail and symbolism, which is a common feature in Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood works. Hunt founded this movement, known for its unconventional depictions of religious themes.

Hunt’s artistic skill is evident in his other paintings such as “The Scapegoat,” an unconventional religious painting exhibited at the Royal Academy. In addition, he created allegorical paintings like “The Light of the World” and offered new twists on traditional stories in his work titled “The Awakening Conscience.”

Among Hunt’s most ethnographically accurate pieces is “The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple,” a faithful representation of a traditional subject with incredible detail. His reputation as an illustrator is undeniable; he designed Tennyson’s “Lady of Shalott” and other works before delving into oil painting. However, Victorians had conflicting opinions regarding the female form portrayed in artwork during this period.

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