The Abundance of Egypt

WILLIAM HOLMAN HUNT PRB OM RWS ARSA (1827-1910) Biography
PRE-RAPHAELITE (founded 1848) Biography

The Abundance of Egypt (Egypt, 1800 - 1899)

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Etching and drypoint, arched top
Signed and inscribed (on the plate) W Holman Hunt and 20

Dimensions

15.50cm high
12.00cm wide
(6.10 inches high)
(4.72 inches wide)
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Literature

Published in Etchings for the Art Union by the Etching Club(Art Union, London 1857), plate 20
Judith Bronkhurst, William Holman Hunt, A Catalogue Raisonné, Volume II, number App.B2, illustrated page 270, Yale University Press New Haven and London, 2006

Exhibition History

A copy, lent by the British Museum, exhibited;
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1969, William Holman Hunt, (catalogue of the exhibition by Mary Bennett), number 63 and;
Walker Art Gallery and London, Tate Gallery, 1984, The Pre-Raphaelites, number 87

Description / Expertise

This etching, published in 1857, was possibly begun in Giza in Egypt in 1854, in the early stages of Hunt's first trip to the East.(1) Here Holman Hunt began an oil painting of the same subject from a fellah girl whom he had persuaded with difficulty to sit. This canvas was enlarged in 1862 to accommodate a full-length figure, was completed in 1863, and was exhibited at the New Gallery, Hanover Street, London in 1864.(2) The painting, entitled the `Afterglow in Egypt', is now in Southampton Art Gallery.(3) This etching retains the original half-length format. The title of the final painting suggests a contrast between Egypt's former glory and her present state, as well as recording a typically Pre-Raphaelite concern with a precise effect of light. The title of the etching suggests an unproblematic appreciation of the richness of the harvest and the beauty of the woman.

PLATE 11 c


1. Walker Art Gallery, 1969, op. cit., number 29
2. No relation to the later institution of the same name.
3. Exhibited Walker Art Gallery and London, Tate Gallery, 1984, The Pre-Raphaelites, number 87