William Holman Hunt
Strayed Sheep 1952
John Ruskin, the art critic who influenced the Pre-Raphaelites— of whom WHH might be my favorite— in critiquing this painting said that for the first time in the history of art it revealed “the absolutely faithful balances of color and shade through which actual sunshine might be transposed.” Of course, what makes it most interesting are the symbolic messages conveyed by the deceptively simple landscape, made more obvious by the title. It’s mesmerizing. I wish artists still used paint to imitate life, I know we have film and photography to do that, but I personally feel that paint has more substance.