The Awakening Conscience (1853) by William Holman Hunt

The Awakening Conscience - William Holman Hunt - 1853

Artwork Information

TitleThe Awakening Conscience
ArtistWilliam Holman Hunt
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions76.2 x 55.9 cm (30 x 22 in)
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationTate Britain, London, UK
Order a Custom Print of this Artwork!

About The Awakening Conscience

The Awakening Conscience is a renowned painting by William Holman Hunt. It was painted in 1853 and depicts a woman rising from her position in the lap of a man and gazing out of a window. The painting reflects an ideal of Christian charity espoused by many Victorians, symbolizing salvation through a shaft of light in a darkened interior.

Hunt’s inspiration for “The Awakening Conscience” came from a verse in Proverbs. The painting explores contemporary issues of sin, guilt, and prostitution, addressing the common Victorian narrative of the fallen woman. This theme was part of bourgeois morality that sought to repress sexuality behind closed doors.

Furthermore, Hunt’s use of symbolism is noteworthy; he contrasts light with darkness to convey the message that salvation can be found even amid moral decay. Through this work, he highlights societal problems while reiterating the importance of religious values.

Other Artwork from William Holman Hunt

More Romanticism Artwork

Scroll to Top