The Awakening Conscience: The Story of a Pre-Raphaelite Muse
A scene of domestic bliss? An intimate moment between two lovers? Not all is as it seems in William Holman Hunt's The Awakening Conscience.
Often described as revolutionary and radical, Hunt and his Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood artist friends endeavoured to illustrate and consequently challenge the social conventions of the day through their paintings. Far from being a straightforward depiction of another disgraced, 'fallen' woman, in this painting Hunt casts his muse Annie Miller as the entrapped lover at the moment of 'awakening', in the throes of an epiphany about her place in the world. But was his art imitating life?
Join curator Carol Jacobi as she takes a closer look at this complex 'psychological drama' and uncovers the symbolism and motivations behind this 19^th ^century masterpiece.
Dr Carol Jacobi is Curator of British Art 1850-1915 at Tate Britain and also publishes and broadcasts on nineteenth and twentieth-century art. She has taught at Birkbeck College, the Courtauld Institute and elsewhere. Carol's research takes a social and cultural perspective and aims to challenge and widen canon, focussing on intersections of the arts, for example, and women artists. She has curated exhibitions on Pre-Raphaelite art, Victorian photography and the major exhibition *Van Gogh and Britain *at Tate. She has written especially about the Pre-Raphaelites, Alberto Giacometti, Isabel Rawsthorne, Francis Bacon and his circle.
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