William Holman Hunt
Oil on canvas, arched top,
73 x 34 inches
Southampton City Art Gallery 1280; presented by Dr H. H. Clarke, 1946
The smaller Southampton version differs considerably: The young woman bears a wheat sheaf rather than a birdcage on her head, birds surround her, and a calf leans against her. Furthermore The girl’s blouse, or upper part of her dress, has a polkadot pattern, and cow and farmer appear behind her.
ArtUK explains, “Financed by the sale of his paintings, Holman Hunt left England on 13 January 1854, hoping to rediscover the biblical lands in Egypt and Palestine. He wrote to Combe in 1854 that he had begun a life-sized study of an Egyptian girl, but that the trials of heat and dust and the difficulty of persuading the model to pose, caused him to abandon the painting. He returned to it back in England in 1861 (Southampton Art Gallery) and at the same time painted a smaller version.”
Click on image to enlarge it