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William Holman Hunt

1827 – 1910

The Desolation of Egypt by William Holman Hunt

The Desolation of Egypt   1854/57

  Original etching.
With the artist’s name in the plate.
Ref: Hartnoll 15
S 269 x 366 mm; P 48 x 114 mm; I 38 x 104 mm
Original William Holman Hunt etching.

Excellent impression on India paper, from the only published edition, as issued in Etchings for the Art-Union by the Etching Club, 1857.

This beautiful small etching shows the desolate landscape surrounding the Sphinx at Giza, illuminated by the light of the moon. The figure seen silhouetted by lamplight, within the tent, is supposed to be that of the artist William Holman Hunt himself. It is thought that this small etching was begun by the artist either whilst at Giza, in Egypt, or during his stay in Jerusalem, in 1854. Holman Hunt wrote to the prominent painter-etcher, James Clarke Hook whilst he was staying near the pyramids at Giza on 1st May 1854. In his letter Hunt expressed his disappointment at being unable to try the new etching tools which Hook had selected for him, stating his desire to consult Hook regarding any difficulties which might arise in their usage.

On cream chine collé, applied to original warm white wove backing sheet, as issued. With full margins. Very slight discolouration at extreme outer edge of backing sheet, otherwise very fine original condition. Image surface excellent.