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Western art

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Study of a bloodhound



William Holman Hunt


02 Apr 1827 - 07 Sep 1910


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'.




Media category


Materials used

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

Accession number


Artist information

William Holman Hunt

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history


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


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2002, 'Year in review', pg. 8-25, Sydney, 2002, 11, 13 (colour illus.).

Richard Beresford, Look, 'On the trail of history: first Holman Hunt painting for Gallery collection', pg.9, Sydney, Sep 2002, 9 (colour illus.).

Judith Bronkhurst, William Holman Hunt: a catalogue raisonné, 2006, Vol.1, 114 (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'

Hilary Morgan, Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelites and their century, 1989.

Peter Nahum and Sally Burgess, Pre-Raphaelite, symbolist, visionary, 2001.

Connell Nisbet, Look, 'Acquisitive minds', pg. 23-27, Sydney, Dec 2003-Jan 2004, 24 (colour illus.).

Tamsin Pickeral, The dog: 5000 years of the dog in art, 2008, 180 (illus.).

Sotheby's London (Editor), Sotheby's London, London, 23 Mar 1981, (colour illus.). lot.21

Editor Unknown (Editor), Apollo, London, May 1988, 9 (colour illus.). after restoration