William Henry Hunt (1790 – 1864) was an English watercolourist. This is one of my favourite paintings – Primroses and Bird’s Nest.
Hunt specialised in still life compositions, mainly fruit, flowers, nests and eggs – he was known as ‘Bird’s Nest’ Hunt. This is one of his bird’s nest paintings, measuring just 7½ inches by 10¾ inches. I saw a variation of this painting at the Royal Academy of Art ofThe Great Age of British Watercolours 1750 – 1880 exhibition several years ago. The catalogue describes Hunt as an outstanding technician. His work was admired by many, including John Ruskin who took lessons from him in 1854 and 1861.
There are a few details about Hunt in The Pre-Raphaelites by Timothy Hilton, including a reproduction of this painting. Amazingly, Hunt said:
I feel really frightened every time I sit down to paint a flower.
I think his paintings are just so beautiful. For more information on Hunt’s method of painting see Craig’s comment below.
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