Hunt, William Morris

Hunt, William Morris,

1824–79, American painter, b. Brattleboro, Vt., studied in Düsseldorf and Paris. He was greatly influenced by the Barbizon schoolBarbizon school
, an informal school of French landscape painting that flourished c.1830–1870. Its name derives from the village of Barbizon, a favorite residence of the painters associated with the school.
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 and by J. F. MilletMillet, Jean François,
1814–75, French painter. He was born into a poor farming family. In 1837 an award enabled him to go to Paris, where he studied with Delaroche.
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. During the Civil War he established himself in Boston, where he introduced the ideals and methods of the Barbizon school. As teacher and painter, Hunt exerted a widespread influence upon American art. He is thought to be the first American master to admit female students into his classes. His earliest works were usually figure pieces; he then turned to portraits and in his later years devoted himself chiefly to landscapes. Among his best-known paintings are Girl at a Fountain, The Bathers, and a landscape (Metropolitan Mus.); a portrait of Chief Justice Shaw (courthouse, Salem, Mass.); and The Flight of Night (Pennsylvania Acad. of the Fine Arts).

Bibliography

See biography by his granddaughter, Diana Holman-Hunt (1969).

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Hunt, William Morris

(1824–79) painter; born in Brattleboro, Vt. (brother of Richard Morris Hunt). He studied in Germany (1845–46) and Paris (1846–56) before settling in Boston in 1862. His work was influenced by French artists of the time, and his genre paintings are romantic and somewhat sentimental, as seen in The Bathers (1877).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.