Rocks at Wady Zuara, the Dead Sea
Pencil; signed and inscribed at a later date 'W Holman Hunt/ '54'; further inscribed '1/2 scale'.
7.75 x 5.5 inches
This drawing is doubtless the one to which Hunt refers (Judith Bronkhurst) in the Sotheby's catalog of 1985.
Illustrated p. 477, chapter XVII, vol. 1 of Pre-Raphaeliteism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, William Holman Hunt, Macmillan & Co, London, 1905.
Chapter XVI, p. 455: "Thus we came to the brink of a descent, which from that point was called the 'Wady Zuara Foka', until it opened itself into a wider gorge called the 'Wady Zuara Tahtel'; beyone was the plain, with the sea stretching in a narrow gulf still farther south. The forefront of the plateau on which we had travelled stood out on our left a mile farther, but the gulf we saw before us was the opening down which the winter floods poured in their season ; the scooped -out forms in the two channels on either side of us proved the force of the water volume that found its way in the winter down this chasm to the lake. A tongue of original limestone stretched forward between the two water channels, which was only half as high as the enflank-ing cliffs, and stood forward but a few hundred paces, ending in a knoll ; and on this eminence a castle tower reared itself, its original object being obviously to defend the pass against inroads of inimical bands, but it had long been left unmanned. On the plain the spread of the sea was restricted by the mountain " Gebel Oosdoom," which hid its southern extremity ; the mountains of Moab reared themselves beyond. We stayed some minutes to admire the wonders of the view, and then descended to the plain. From this moment my observation was studiously directed to all the region within sight, so that every spot should be stored up in memory, to be eventually weighed with others as to its suitability for the background of the projected picture. We had before our eyes the region, the very name of which has become a proverb of God's judgement."