Delaware Art Museum Sends Pre-Raphaelite Painting to Auction Block

  • May 07, 2014 13:11

  • Email
"Isabella and the Pot of Basil" by William Holman Hunt will be sold by the Delaware Art Museum.
Delaware Art Museum

The Delaware Art Museum has revealed that the Pre-Raphaelite painting "Isabella and the Pot of Basil" by William Holman Hunt (1827–1910) will be the first artwork to be deaccessioned in a controversial decision to pay off the museum's debt and replenish its endowment.

The painting will be sold through Christie’s at its June 17 auction of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite, and British Impressionist Art in London. "Isabella and the Pot of Basil" was purchased in 1947 using general art acquisition funds. 

Three other works will also be sold within the next several months, possibly including Winslow Homer's "Milking Time," one of the museum's most treasured works. The Homer disappeared from its gallery space and the collections database last month.

"Isabella and the Pot of Basil," which Hunt complete in 1868, illustrates a John Keats poem of the same name. The scene depicts Isabella mourning over a basil pot altar which holds the head of her lover, Lorenzo, who was murdered by her brothers. Her tears flow over the tomb.

Hunt's wife, Fanny, was a model for Isabella. She died during childbirth two years before the painting was finished.

In a statement issued by the Delaware Art Museum:

The Museum’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on March 26, 2014, to deaccession and sell up to four works of art from the museum’s 12,500-object collection. The funds generated from the sale, projected to be $30 million, will repay the full balance of the museum’s $19.8 million bond debt and replenish the endowment, which will place the Museum on a firm financial basis for the future. The sale of the other works of art will be finalized and announced in the coming months. No works of art acquired through gift or bequest will be sold.

 


  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Counter for Cutting Cloak Material, 1850s.  Church Family, Mount Lebanon, NY Pine, maple pulls, brass tacks, red paint Accession Number: 1950.382.1

Shaker Museum Taps Selldorf Architects for New $15 Million Facility

  • ArtfixDaily / August 5th, 2020

Shaker Museum has selected Selldorf Architects to create its new permanent facility in downtown Chatham, New York, to ...

Read More...
Gustav Dentzel (American, born Germany, 1844–1909), Horse, ca.  1907.  Basswood and pigments and hair, 60 x 62 x 12.  Crocker Art Museum, gift of Larry and Gail Freels, 2019.94.6.

Early American Carousel Sculptures Find New Home at the Crocker

  • ArtfixDaily / August 4th, 2020

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif., has welcomed to its collection six hand-carved carousel animal ...

Read More...
Renee Cox, Chillin; with Liberty, 1998.  Courtesy Renee Cox.

New Commissions by 100 Women Marking Centennial of 19th Amendment Debut Online August 18

  • ArtfixDaily / August 4th, 2020

100 Women Artists and Cultural Creators Respond to Centennial of the 19th Amendment and 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage ...

Read More...
The damaged statue is the original plaster cast used to make a marble statue of Paolina Bonaparte (in Borghese Gallery, Rome).

Police Identify Tourist Who Broke Toes Off Canova Sculpture During Selfie

  • ArtfixDaily / August 4th, 2020

A museum visitor who leaned across and damaged a reclining sculpture by Antonio Canova has been tracked down by ...

Read More...

ARTFIXdaily Artwire