An Italian Child (Tuscan Girl Plaiting Straw)
Hunt's art was a truthful depiction of nature infused with moral purpose. He made many trips to the Holy Land to paint religious subjects, and in 1866 travelled to Palestine with his wife, Fanny. The couple were detained in Florence, and Fanny died there shortly after giving birth to their son, Cyril. Hunt returned to Italy in 1869 to complete the design for her tomb. He stayed with an English friend at Fiesole and painted two portraits of the gardener’s children, of which this is one. A dove rests on the girl’s shoulder, symbolic of her dove-like gentleness and innocence.