The Light of The World (1851-1856)

Hunt, William Holman (1827-1910)

The Light of The World
Oil on canvas, 49.8 x 26.1 cm
Manchester Art GalleryManchester

Painting in the shape of an arched doorway. Standing at a wooden doorway with rusted hinges and overgrown with ivy and weeds, in an orchard, is the forward-facing, full figure of Christ wearing a crown entwined with the thorns of the Passion, now covered with leaves. The light of his halo is in contrast to the blue dusk visible through the branches of the background trees. Over a plain robe, he wears a jewelled cloak (or pallium) clasped across the chest with a jewelled brooch. With his right hand he knocks at the disused door; in his left hand he carries a lantern, which throws light on to his robes and the doorway, and casts a warm glow across his face and his right hand. In the foreground are scattered apples from the surrounding fruiting trees and the lights of glow-worms. The painting is an exploration of the Biblical text, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Taken from Revelations, iii, 20. The frame is rectangular, gilded and decorated with a border of flower heads in roundels. (MCAG)