In writing to the children at Winnington Hall on 15 October 1860, Ruskin asserted that "Hunt meant the lantern for "the church," which was very absurd of him" (The Winnington Letters: John Ruskin's Correspondence with Margaret Alexis Bell and the Children at Winnington Hall, ed. Van Akin Burd (Cambridge, Mass., 1969), 271). Since Ruskin had close contact with Hunt in the years after he painted The Light of the World, it is possible that Hunt had told him this interpretation; but it does not seem much in accord with Hunt's general religious views, and the chances are that Ruskin was simply asserting his own view.

Last modified December 2001