A study for Holman Hunt's 'Eve of Saint Agnes' exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1848. Hunt sought Millais's assistance in completing the picture and worked on it in the younger artist's studio. It was also this picture which inspired Rossetti to turn to Hunt for help in painting his 'Ecce Ancilla Domini', the first work exhibited bearing the initials PRB. Later in the same year the three paintiners became the principal members of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood,a movement which revolutionized British art.
The blood hound in Hunt's sketch was lent to him by John Blount Price of Islington (as the artist later recalled). The importance of the dogs to Hunt's conception of the subject is refelected in the lines from Keats which he quoted in the Royal Academy exhibition catalogue 'The wakeful blood hound rose, and shook his hide, But his sagacious eye an imate owns'.
oil over pencil on board laid down on card
25.6 x 28.9 cm board (irreg.)
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by John and Julie Schaeffer 2002
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Loan exhibition of works by Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelites, Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, 1911–1911
Royal Academy, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1987–1987
Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelites and their century, The Leicester Galleries, London, 16 May 1989–20 Jun 1989
Peter Nahum at Liberty, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 13 Oct 1990–20 Dec 1990
The Leicester Galleries at the Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair 2002, Grosvenor House, London, 2002–2002
Pre-Raphaelite, symbolist, visionary, Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London, 11 May 2002–30 Jul 2002
W M Rossetti, circa 1853-1919, England, gift of the artist to Mr Rossetti; by descent to his son GA Rossetti
Gabriel Arthur Rossetti, 1919-1932, England, by descent from WM Rossetti 1919; bequeathed to his wife Dora Brandreth Rossetti 1932
Dora Brandreth Rossetti, 1932-circa 1950, England, given to private collector c.1950
Private Collection, circa 1950-Nov 1986, offered to Sotherby's London 23 March 1981, lot.21, bt. in at £3,200; re-offered Sotheby's 16 June 1982, lot.277, bt. in at £1,200; purchased by Peter Nahum, November 1986.
Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, Nov 1986-22 Apr 2002, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Peter Nahum 2002
Referenced in 10 publications
Richard Beresford, Look, 'On the trail of history: first Holman Hunt painting for Gallery collection', pg.9, Sydney, Sep 2002, 9 (colour illus.).
William Holman Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, London, 1905, Vol.1: 98. 'the bloodhounds I painted from a couple possessed by my friend, Mr. J. B. Price'
Connell Nisbet, Look, 'Acquisitive minds', pg. 23-27, Sydney, Dec 2003-Jan 2004, 24 (colour illus.).
The dog: 5000 years of the dog in art, 2008, 180 (illus.).
Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelites and their century, 1989. cat.no.10
Apollo, London, May 1988, 9 (colour illus.). after restoration
Sotheby's London, London, 23 Mar 1981, (colour illus.). lot.21
Pre-Raphaelite, symbolist, visionary, 2001. cat.no.3
William Holman Hunt: a catalogue raisonné, 2006, Vol.1, 114 (colour illus.). cat.no.43
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2002, 'Year in review', pg. 8-25, Sydney, 2002, 11, 13 (colour illus.).