La Ghirlandata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Fair Rosamund by John William Waterhouse

Bubbles by John Everett Millais

Lady Godiva by John Collier

Pre-Raphaelites artists

John Collier (1850 - 1934)

William Holman Hunt (1827 - 1910)

John Everett Millais (1829 - 1896)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882)

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917)

What is Pre-Raphaelites

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets and critics, founded in 1848 by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.

The group's intention was to reform art by rejecting what they considered to be the mechanistic approach adopted by the Mannerist artists who followed Raphael and Michelangelo. They believed that the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael in particular had been a corrupting influence on 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. They called him 'Sir Sloshua', believing that his sloppy technique was a formulaic and clich?d form of academic Mannerism. 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".

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