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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The oil paintings, watercolours and drawings of famous British artist William Holman Hunt have dazzled us all for many decades, but how might you get a reproduction print to enjoy in your own home?

The vibrant colours and accentuated details of this painter's main highlights will leave you starring at print copies for years - there will always be something new to discover that you had not noticed before. One’s understanding of his work also improves once we research the meanings behind each of his paintings, be it the inspiration of mythology or magical themes, or more recent British poetry. The transition from academic praise to support from the art public, both during their careers and in the present day is not always a direct match, though.

John William Waterhouse, for example, was a respected artist from just after the Pre-Raphaelites but his reputation has grown enormously in recent years as so many of the public have warmed to his work. Academic and public approval do not always go hand in hand and Waterhouse prints have become amongst the most popular choices in all British art. Holman Hunt is also significant, but not quite as frequently found on our walls. Speaking of the former, his most popular pieces include Hylas and the Nymphs, plus also The Lady of Shalott, a theme which Holman Hunt also covered within his own career.

The Pre-Raphaelite movement sits somewhere between the uber traditional styles of the Renaissance and Baroque art movements, whilst falling well short of the abstract forms which dominate art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Therefore, prints of their work can fit fairly flexibly into most homes. A framed finish can add some class to the finished look but will add considerable cost to your purchase. Alternatively, you will often find students buying simple posters which can be rolled and delivered much more easily. All tastes and budgets are catered for by the larger online art retailers.

Within the career of Holman Hunt, his specific highlights, and those which are most frequently sought after, include The Hireling Shepherd, Our English Coasts and The Scapegoat. This will sometimes come down to the venues in which they are on display, and thus the exposure that they receive. In some cases there are equally impressive artworks which have dropped down his list of researched pieces and therefore receive less attention. This can also be said about some artists, with many talented artists seeing their reputations fluctuate considerably from one century to the next, for all manner of reasons.

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the Pre-Raphaelite movement more generally, with a number of exhibitions within the UK. There is a fine selection of well-stocked galleries and art museums in this country now, and efforts have also been made to spread them out geographically, rather than focusing everything in on the capital, London. This will help to boost the arts more evenly and accessibility and education are key to encouraging the new artists of the future. With regards Holman Hunt, some of his paintings are on display in London, Manchester and also in some provincial museums, as well as abroad.

British art has received a greater acceptance in recent generations and there is a good variety of work to be found here, including large amounts of abstract paintings and sculptures from the last fifty years. Amongst it all, William Turner prints remain the most popular. This artist combined Romanticism and landscape art with the British countryside and traditional architecture in order to produce many stunning scenes which continue to be considered amongst the finest contributions by this nation to European art.