Sunday, November 18, 2012


The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three founders were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form a seven-member "brotherhood".
The group's intention was to reform art by rejecting what they considered to be the mechanistic approach first adopted by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo. They believed that the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael in particular had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art, hence the name "Pre-Raphaelite". In particular, they objected to the influence of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the founder of the English Royal Academy of Arts, whom they called "Sir Sloshua". To the Pre-Raphaelites, according to William Michael Rossetti, "sloshy" meant "anything lax or scamped in the process of painting ... and hence ... any thing or person of a commonplace or conventional kind". In contrast, they wanted to return to the abundant detail, intense colours, and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art.
The Pre-Raphaelites have been considered the first avant-garde movement in art, though they have also been denied that status, because they continued to accept both the concepts of history painting and of mimesis, or imitation of nature, as central to the purpose of art. However, the Pre-Raphaelites undoubtedly defined themselves as a reform-movement, created a distinct name for their form of art, and published a periodical, The Germ, to promote their ideas. Their debates were recorded in the Pre-Raphaelite Journal.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde
Tate Britain: Exhibition
12 September 201213 January 2013
£14, concessions available
This weekend 17-18 November: please note advance tickets for Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde are SOLD OUT. Limited tickets are still available at the gallery ticket desks only.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'The Beloved ('The Bride')' 1865-6

  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti Lady Lilith 1866–8
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti
    Lady Lilith 1866–8
    Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial 1935
  • Edward Coley Burne-Jones Laus Veneris 1873-1878
  • Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, 'Ophelia' 1851-2


Anders Hansen said...

I saw this tv-series about them. It was great.

Desperate Romantics.

Forgetmenot525 said...

Hi Heidi, The Pr-Raphaelites had such a distinctive style, I've always liked these paintnigs. These are the paintnigs that first attracte my to art in general, they are the sort of art that fires the imagination.
Thanks for this.....

tesstruhartz said...

beautiful, makes you wonder where this talent went