William Holman Hunt The Ship 1875

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
The Ship
Date 1875
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 762 x 978 mm
frame: 1098 x 1305 x 132 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by subscribers 1907
Reference
N02120
Not on display

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Hunt began this painting after a voyage to the East with his second wife, Edith. Unusually, he painted it largely from memory, rather than from life.The ship could be seen as a metaphor for Hunt's life and religious uncertainty. He wanted to suggest the idea of life as a journey ‘with no guidance from Him but the name of the port to be reached ... nothing but the silent stars to steer by for the heavily freighted ship and no welcome till the land is reached’. Perhaps the woman is Edith and the man at the wheel Hunt himself.

July 2007

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