The Woodcutter's Breakfast (The Faggot Gatherer's Meal)
William Henry Hunt British
Not on view
Hunt's meticulous genre and still life subjects prefigure the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood's emphasis on meticulous detail. This work displays the artist's mature mastery of watercolor, admiringly described by his pupil John Ruskin in "The Elements of Drawing" (1857). To create this image, Hunt stippled a white gouache ground using broken touches of watercolor and extensive passages of scraping to create bold effects of light and texture. His intense, realistic vision of British rural life focuses on an unadorned cottage interior where a humble figure rests on a bench. The distinct textures of the brick fireplace, rough flagstones, simple furniture, earthenware pot, iron kettle, and piled branches are all lovingly recorded.