William Henry Hunt (British, London 1790–1864 London)
Watercolor and graphite, heightened with white
Sheet: 3 11/16 × 5 1/8 in. (9.4 × 13 cm)
Purchase, Brooke Russell Astor Bequest, 2013
Not on view
Hunt worked mainly as a watercolorist, painting genre subjects and still-lives. The latter characteristically show fruits, nuts, and natural elements such as birds' nests presented with a sense of heightened realism. This small, beautiful example centers on an apple with a distinctive flaw, a cluster of grapes, and hazelnut still clad in its papery outer skin, all lying near a mossy bank. The artist was known for his uncanny ability to render the bloom on fruit, seen here on the grapes, achieved with tiny dots of watercolor applied over a matt layer of Chinese white. This technique anticipates those used by the Pre-Raphaelities.
Signature: signed 'W HUNT' (lower left)
Bonhams, Knightsbridge, September 9, 2008, lot 86; Christie's, London, South Kensington, May 29, 2012, lot 787; W.S Fine Art Ltd. / Andrew Wyld (London); Christie's, London, South Kensington, 18 July 2012, lot 808; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
Bonhams, Knightsbridge British and Continental Pictures. Sale cat. September 9, 2008, lot 86.
Christie's, South Kensington Interiors: Andrew Wyld: Connoisseur Dealer, Part II. Sale cat. July 18, 2012, lot 808, p. 123.