Two studies of the goat for 'The Scapegoat'

William Holman Hunt 1827-1910

Pencil, drawn about November 1854

Accession numbers WAG 10536 (top) and WAG 10535 (bottom)

Sketch of a goat

Sketch of a goat

Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery, 1985, with the assistance of the Art Fund, the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of Merseyside Museums and Art Galleries

Hunt began 'The Scapegoat' in 1854 on the shores of the Dead Sea in Palestine. On his second visit to the Dead Sea he took with him a white goat, bought in Jerusalem. He worked first on the background of the oil painting, leaving a blank space for the goat.

These pencil sketches were done around this time and show him trying out different positions for the goat's head and legs. Hunt eventually completed the painting in Jerusalem from a brown goat, its head facing lower down than in the sketches.