Thrush's Nest with Eggs and a Basket of Primroses

William Henry Hunt, 1850s about; 1860s early

LL 3859

About this object

Celebrated for his still life paintings, Hunt became known as ‘Bird’s Nest Hunt’. The three eggs have been identified as blackbird eggs, a bird closely related to the thrush, which is indicated in the title.

John Ruskin was a great admirer of Hunt’s watercolours. Ruskin referred to his technique in his book 'Elements of Drawing' (1857) when describing the principle of ‘gradation’. The textures of paint constantly shift between different variants of tone and shade, creating the ‘rich and luscious’ effect that Ruskin particularly valued.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    Blackbirds Nest and Primrose; Thrush's Nest with Eggs and a Basket of Primroses against a Mossy Bank
  • Artist(s)
    William Henry Hunt (British: English, born:1790-03-28, died:1864-02-10)
  • Date
    1850s about; 1860s early
  • Materials
    Gouache; Gum arabic; Gum arabic; Laid paper; Board
  • Measurements
    paper: 32.3 cm x 42.5 cm
  • Physical description
    Still life with a basket of primroses on the left and a bird's nest with eggs on the right. They are shown outdoors on the ground with moss in the background.
  • Related people
    William Henry Hunt (Artist/maker) ; William Hesketh Lever (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    Accession Number: LL 3859; Out of Use Accession Number: WHL 212; Out of Use Accession Number: H 179
  • Credit line
    Purchased by William Hesketh Lever in 1904
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • William Hesketh Lever

    Owned from: 1904
    How acquired: Purchased from Orrock by William Hesketh Lever
    Owned until: 1925
    Disposal method: Lady Lever Art Gallery


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: W HUNT
    Inscription method: Watercolour
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
Object view = Fine Art
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