The Light of the World
The Light Of The World
In Occasional Paper 24, The Pre-Raphaelites in Ewell and a Missing Masterpiece, I said that The Light of the World was now in the Manchester City Art Gallery. One or two members of NAS have asked for clarification regarding the relationship of the Manchester version with the versions known to be at Keble College, Oxford, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The following notes are by the Curator of the Fine Art Department of Manchester City Art Galleries.
‘The original was painted between 1851 and 1853. It was exhibited at the royal Academy in 1854, and is now at Keble College, Oxford. The version here in the City Art Gallery is a smaller version. It began as Hunt’s original oil sketch for the Keble picture and was finished off after the Keble picture was completed. Opinion is divided as to how much of this version was painted by Hunt, but it was signed by him and is documented as so in his book Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 2 p19. A third, later version, was painted between 1900 and 1904 with the help of an assistant. This is near life size and is now in St. Paul’s Cathedral’.
One would assume that the original oil sketch referred to was painted by Holman Hunt at Ewell as the basis for the paintings done in the studio and, therefore, the Manchester version is the one of most interest in relation to Ewell.
An incident at Epsom Races in 1824
As reported in the Windsor & Eton Express, and provided by Mr. Ron Davis of Egham-by-Runnmede Historical Society:
On Friday 4th June, after the races, a large ring was formed in a hollow for a fight between two members of the ‘PC’ (Pugilists’ Club?). The ring was enclosed by horsemen, wagons, carriages and other vehicles. There was then a change of plan. It was agreed that the fight would take place on the racecourse opposite the Derby stand. The ring broke up and everyone rushed to the new location, but the only way in for carriages and horses was at the top of the course near the ‘rubbing house’. This entrance was blocked by a large chain and maintained by constables, but there was no stopping the 500 or so carriages, horsemen etc. Many people were knocked down and trampled upon. One lady had her jaw broken. ‘A countryman’ had a badly fractured arm, while a boy was badly injured and probably did not survive. A coachman from Kew Bridge was kicked by a horse and ‘completely stove in’. He was conveyed to the Magpie at Epsom where he died. A groom from Banstead had a fractured skull, having been thrown from his horse, which was killed under him. (The paper does not say if the fight took place!).
About 9.00 pm the same evening a nobleman drove four-in-hand and in full gallop near Ewell. Many people pulled up to let him pass, but a spirited animal in a gig began to plunge, having been frightened by the noise. This resulted in a lady and gentleman being thrown out backwards. Fortunately they were only slightly bruised.
A week after the races Charles Harrison, George Whateley, John Baskin, Emanuel Allan and John Westray were charged at Bow Street with picking pockets at Epsom Races. Baskin and Allan were suspected of ‘hustling’ a Mr. Rougemont and taking his gold watch. Westray was suspected of stealing a pocket book containing two ten-pound notes and four sovereigns from Mr. Potter.