Sunday, January 3, 2010

William Holman Hunt - Master Hilary - The Tracer, 1886

"Hilary had first appeared in his father's work as the Christ Child in 'The Triumph of the Innocents' (1876-87; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), and other early studies of him are reproduced in Hunt's autobiography. In our picture he is seen through the glass of a French window, we ourselves standing outside with the painter, looking into a shadowed room, the child inside looking out. He has stuck a design on the glass with sealing wax, and is about to trace it against the light with the stick of coloured chalk which he holds in his right hand. At his feet are a box of paints, his paint brushes in a glass of water, and an upturned white china plate which he presumably uses as a palette." - Christie's catalogue notes (extensive)

The painting "remained in Hilary's possession until his death in 1949. It was then inherited by his daughter, Diana, who died" in 1993.

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