William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His paintings were notable for their great attention to detail, vivid colour, and elaborate symbolism. It was for his religious paintings that Hunt became famous, especially The Light of the World. In the 1850s Hunt travelled to the Holy Land in search of accurate topographical and ethnographical material for further religious works. There he painted The Scapegoat, The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple, and The Shadow of Death, along with many landscapes of the region.
The Book of Leviticus describes a "scapegoat" which must be ritually expelled from the flocks of the Israelite tribes as part of a sacrificial ritual of cleansing. In line with traditional Christian theology, Hunt believed that the scapegoat was a prototype for the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus, and that the goat represented that aspect of the Messiah described in Isaiah as a "suffering servant" of God.
Hunt started painting on the shore of the Dead Sea, and continued it in his studio in London. The work exists in two versions, a small version in brighter colours with a dark-haired goat and a rainbow, and this one, the larger version in more muted tones with a light-haired goat. The painting was the only major work completed by Hunt during his first trip to the Holy Land, to which he had travelled after a crisis of religious faith. Hunt intended to experience the actual locations of the Biblical narratives as a means to confront the relationship between faith and truth.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1266: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)