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'The Awakening Conscience' was conceived as the material counterpart to Hunt's 'The Light of the World' (1851–1853, Warden and Fellows of Keble College, Oxford). Its inspiration was a verse from Proverbs: 'As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart'. With his typical thoroughness, Hunt hired a room at Woodbine Villa, 7, Alpha Place, St John's Wood, a 'maison de convenance', to use as the setting.
Oil on canvas
H 76.2 x W 55.9 cm
Presented by Sir Colin and Lady Anderson through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1976