Wikipedia:Today's featured article/January 19, 2017

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Second version of the painting, 1886

Hope is an 1886 Symbolist oil painting by the English artist George Frederic Watts. Radically different from previous treatments of the subject, it shows a lone blindfolded female figure sitting on a globe, playing a lyre which has only a single string remaining. Watts intentionally used symbolism not traditionally associated with hope to make the painting's meaning ambiguous. As reproductions began to circulate in large quantities worldwide, it became a widely popular image. Theodore Roosevelt displayed a copy at his Sagamore Hill home in New York, and a 1922 film was based on the painting. Although Watts was rapidly falling out of fashion by this time and Hope was increasingly seen as outdated and sentimental, it remained influential. Martin Luther King Jr. based a 1959 sermon on the theme of the painting, as did Jeremiah Wright in 1990. Among the congregation for the latter was the young Barack Obama, who took "The Audacity of Hope" as the theme of his 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address, and as the title of his 2006 book; he based his successful 2008 presidential campaign around the theme of "Hope". (Full article...)

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