William Holman-Hunt O.M., R.W.S.


Isabella and the Pot of Basil


Signed with monogram and dated ‘1867’ (lower left) 

Oil on canvas

23 ⅞ x 15 ¼ in. (60.6 x 38.7 cm.)

32 ¾ x 24 in. (83 x 61 cm.) (framed)



Purchased from the artist by Ernest Gambart, 19 November 1867. 

Sold to Lewis Pocock Esq., London.

L. Pocock; Christie’s, London, 13 May 1871, lot 104 (unsold at 525 gns).

With Pilgeram & Lefèvre, London.

Purchased by Samuel P. Avery, New York, 24 October 1871, for £500.  

Sold to John Taylor Johnston, New York; his sale, auctioned by

Samuel P. Avery at Chickering Hall, New York, 19 December 1876, lot 85.

Sold to John Work Garrett, Baltimore for $2,650.

By descent to his daughter Mary Elizabeth Garrett, Baltimore, 1884.

Bequeathed to Martha Carey Thomas, President of Bryn Mawr College, 1915.

Bequeathed to her trustees for the benefit of Bryn Mawr College, 1935.

Purchased by the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts, Delaware, 12 July 1947 (Special Purchase Fund, 1947-9), $200.

Delaware Art Museum; de-accessioned 2014.



New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Centennial Loan Exhibition, 1876, no. 93.

Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Art Nouveau, 1960.

Indianapolis, Herron Museum of Art; and New York, Gallery of Modern Art, The Pre-Raphaelites, 1964, no. 47, illustrated.

Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, Paintings and Drawings by Victorian Artists in England, 1965, no. 65.

Rochester, New York, Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester,

The English Pre-Raphaelite Movement and its influence on American Decorative Arts: Roycroft-Tiffany, 1965. Peoria, Illinois, Lakeview Center for the Arts and Sciences, The Victorian Rebellion, 1971, no.39, illustrated.

Coral Gables, Florida, Lowe Art Museum, 

The Revolt of the Pre-Raphaelites, 1972, no. 61, illustrated.

Hempstead, New York, Emily Lowe Gallery, Victorian Art, 1972,

no. 72, illustrated.

Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle; and Frankfurt,

Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Präraffaeliten, 1974, no. 47, illustrated.

Maryland, University of Maryland Art Gallery, The Search for Innocence, 1975, no. 43, illustrated.

Wilmington, Delaware Art Museum, The Pre-Raphaelite Era, 1848-1914, 1976, nos. 4-6, illustrated.

Washington, Federal Reserve System, English Pre-Raphaelite Painting, 1977, no. 11.

Richmond, Virginia, The Virginia Museum, 

La Bella Mano: Pre-Raphaelite Paintings and Decorative Arts from the Samuel and Mary Bancroft Collection of the Delaware Art Museum,

1982, no. 8. New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, 

The Pre-Raphaelite Collections of the Delaware Art Museum, 1984 (followed by US tour).

Providence, Bell Gallery, List Art Center, Brown University, ‘Ladies of Shalott’: A Victorian Masterpiece and its Contexts, 1985, no. 20.

Bryn Mawr, Canaday Library, Bryn Mawr College, Christina’s World, 1990. San Diego Museum of Art, California; Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio;

Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, U.K.;

Portland Art Museum, Oregon, Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre- Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum, 2004, no. 25. Also shown at San Diego Museum of Art, California, Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, 

Florida; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

On loan to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, on loan, May 2016 - December 2017.

San Francisco, Legion of Honor Museum, Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters, 2018, repr. colour with frame (the picture was reframed in 2014).

Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate, 2018-2019, no. 57.



[F.G. Stephens], Athenaeum, 20 May 1871, p. 630, and 27 May 1871,

p. 663.

New York Tribune, 25 November 1876, p. 4.

Art Journal, New York, vol. 3, January 1877, p. 63.

Time, vol 83, 14 February 1964, p. 7.

M. Bennett, ‛Footnotes to the Holman Hunt Exhibition’, Liverpool Bulletin, XIII, 1968-1970, pp. 40-41.

J. Maas, Gambart, Prince of the Victorian Art World, 1975, p. 205.

M. F. Beaufort, H.L. Kleinfield and J.W. Welcher (eds.), The Diaries

1871- 1882 of Samuel P. Avery, Art Dealer, New York, 1979, p. 83.

L. Parris (ed.), Pre-Raphaelite Papers, London, 1984, pp. 216-218.

R. Elzea (ed.), The Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft, Jr. and related Pre-Raphaelite Collections, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington Delaware, 1978, pp. 62, 64, illustrated, p. 63, 1984, (revised ed.) pp. 66, 68,

illustrated p, 67.

J.H. Coombs, A.M. Scott, G.P. Landow, A.A. Sanders (eds.), 

A Pre- Raphaelite Friendship: The Correspondence of William Holman Hunt and John Lucas Tupper, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1986, pp. 79, 86.

S. P Casteras, English Pre-Raphaelitism and Its Reception in America in the Nineteenth Century, Toronto, 1990, p. 118.

S. Wildman, Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum, 2004, no. 25, p. 146.

Judith Bronkhurst, William Holman Hunt: A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 2006, Vol. I, pp. 209-10, no. 107.

In the press: Judith Bronkhurst, ‛The uncertain status of Hunt’s oil replicas’ in Julie Codell (ed.), Nineteenth-Century British Artists’ Autograph Replicas: Auras, Aesthetics and Economics, Routledge, 2020.

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