Scapegoats, Ken Russell, and the PRB

Hunt_TheScapegoat

Reading a  book about Victorian photography,Francis Frith in Egypt and Palestine, I came across these statements about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) painter William Holman Hunt and his picture, The Scapegoat:

” …with its elimination of aerial perspective, its aggressive placement of the goat in the foreground picture plane (even Ruskin could not abide its proximity) and its hallucinogenic detail and color…”

“The Jewish sacrifice of the goat, bearing away the town’s moral iniquities, was for Hunt a clear Old Testatment prefiguration of Christ…”

goatty

This called to mind those bizarre images from Ken Russell’s Altered States.  As usual with Russell, there’s a lot more going on in his weirdness than a shallow desire to shock and be outlandish.

goat1

goat2

goat5

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