William Holman Hunt Paintings
Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1867
Oil on canvas, 23x 15 inch
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne Forbes Magazine Collection, New York
Hunt paintings were notable for their great attention to detail, their hard vivid colour and their elaborate symbolism. These features were influenced by the writings of John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle, according to whom the world itself should be read as a system of visual signs. For Hunt it was the duty of the artist to reveal the correspondence between sign and fact. Out of all the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Hunt remained most true to their ideals throughout his career. Hunt eventually had to give up painting because failing eyesight meant that he could not get the level of quality that he wanted.