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Sin and Salvation: William Holman Hunt at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

422px-William_Holman_Hunt_-_Selfportrait Left: William Holman Hunt, self portrait, oil on canvas, 103.5 cm x 73 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (found on Wikipedia Commons). Click on the image to view an enlargement.

If you haven't already seen Sin and Salvation: William Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, you have until September 6 to see this ticketed exhibit (free to members).

My attachment to the Pre-Raphaelites is a complex one, beginning in childhood (John Ruskin was a supporter of the Pre-Raphaelites; Charles Dickens—does he really need a link?—went on record to call one of his depictions of the Virgin Mary ugly).

I won't try to unravel my attachment here for you, and don't expect the show signage to present a coherent view either! What you want to do is visit the show, look at the images, and purchase the catalog: Holman Hunt and the Pre-Raphaelite Vision, edited by Katharine Lochnan and Carol Jacobi. It's 221 pages of essays and color illustrations of his paintings, drawings, engravings, and some textiles and photographs of the artist and related items. The sad thing is the reproductions are very DARK and also a tad fuzzy so they don't, even when bled full-page give you the exact sense of obsessive observation and attention to detail that seeing the paintings in life will do—but they are better than nothing, and the essays are far superior to the garbled and incoherent signage presented in the gallery.

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