Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

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 it considered the mechanistic approach first adopted by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo. Its members believed 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, the group objected to the influence of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 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, the brotherhood wanted a return to the abundant detail, intense colours and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art.

The Pre-Raphaelites were considered the first avant-garde movement in art, though they have 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.

Read more about Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:  Beginnings, Early Doctrines, First Exhibitions and Publications, Public Controversy, Later Developments and Influence, List of Artists, Collections, Portrayal in Popular Culture, Books

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Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - Books
... (2005) The Pre-Raphaelite Art of the Victorian Novel Narrative Challenges to Visual Gendered Boundaries ... (1972) The English Pre-Raphaelite painters their associates and successors, New York AMS Press, ISBN 0-404-00691-4 Daly, G ... (1989) Pre-Raphaelites in Love, New York Ticknor Fields, ISBN 0-89919-450-8 des Cars, L ...

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