An Italian Child (Tuscan Girl Plaiting Straw)

William Holman Hunt, 1869

WAG 2014.36

About this object

Hunt was influenced by the early volumes of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters. His art was a truthful depiction of nature infused with moral purpose. He made many trips to the Holy Land to paint religious subjects.

In 1866 Hunt travelled to Palestine with his wife Fanny. The couple were detained in Florence, and Fanny died 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.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    A Tuscan Girl
  • Artist(s)
    William Holman Hunt (British: English, born:1827-04-02, died:1910-09-07)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Oil paint; Canvas
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 81.5 cm x 72.7 cm
  • Physical description
    A half length portrait of a young girl with plaited brown hair. She is plaiting straw and there is a dove sitting on her right shoulder. An idyllic view of hills and fields can be seen in the background.
  • Related people
    William Holman Hunt (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    previous number: L881; Daybook Number: FADB 2014.12
  • Credit line
    Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by HM Government and allocated to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 2014
  • Location
    Lady Lever Art Gallery, Room 10
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections
Object view = Fine Art
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