'The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple', William Holman Hunt

Biblical scene with a young Jesus and a crowd in a temple setting

This is a small version of one of Holman Hunt’s most important paintings, now in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Hunt described it as ‘the original study’ but he painted most of it after he had finished the larger canvas.

The subject was begun during Hunt’s visit to Palestine in 1854 but completed back in London, with the interior of the Temple being composed from the Alhambra Court at the Crystal Palace. George Holt paid 1200 guineas (£1260) for the work in 1888. Its intense colour and teeming symbolism epitomise Hunt’s ideas of Pre-Raphaelitism.

An extended study of 'Finding of the Saviour in the Temple' is available online as part of our picture of the month series.

Artwork Details

Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Date:(1854 - 1865)
Accession No: WAG 246