William Holman Hunt’s painting, The Scapegoat, was based on the Book of Leviticus and depicts a goat being driven away with red cloth, symbolizing the sins of the community. Hunt presented the goat as a symbol of Christ, connecting Christian scripture with contemporary iconography. Having traveled to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea in search of inspiration for religious paintings, Hunt used his experiences to create a masterpiece that conveyed religious meaning through art.
The painting combines elements from biblical texts and contemporary imagery, making it an innovative work of art that is still admired today. Although the goat used as a model for the painting soon died after posing for Hunt, its image has been immortalized through this masterpiece.
Scapegoating is a practice where people are unjustly blamed for something they did not do. In The Scapegoat, Hunt presents this concept using symbolic imagery thereby highlighting its moral implications. This artwork serves as an example of how art can be used to express complex ideas in ways that are easily understandable by all.