The White Owl

William J. Webbe (1830-1904[?])

Signed in monogram and dated 1856 lower left

Oil on panel

17 1/2 x 10 1/8 inches

Provenance: C. Lucas Esq.

The style of his paintings, with their detail and high colour, and the religious and allegorical content of his paintings, -- but chiefly his visits to the East -- declare him as a follower of Holman Hunt. One may imagine that this painting was a tribute to Hunt's technical approach to The Light of The World, although whether the same procedures were carried out is open to doubt, and the allegorical content, if any, is obscure. — Anthea Brooke

Ruskin briefly commented in his 1856 Academy Notes: "A careful study — the brown wing excellent. The softness of an owl's feathers is perhaps inimitable; but I think the breast might have come nearer the mark" (14.51) — George P. Landow.

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