Picture: The Pre-Raphaelites.

The Pre-Raphaelites

In the mid-19th century, a group of young artists shocked the Victorian art scene in Britain with a new imagery of vivid colours, serious moods and a challenging beauty. They called themselves the Pre-Raphaelites, to indicate that they sought their inspiration in art before the Italian 16th-century painter Raphael: in 15th-century early Renaissance and medieval art.

Their paintings dealt with the eternal questions of love, passion, betrayal and death. This deep seriousness is present in all their work, whether the subject is from medieval tales of chivalry or scenes from their contemporary Britain. The leading artists in the group were John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

This book was pubIished in conjunction with the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Nationalmuseum February 26 to May 24 2009. It contains articles written by some of the foremost experts on British 19th century art. The texts discuss subjects such as Women Artists amid the pre-Raphaelite Movement, Photography and the Pre-Raphaelites, The Pre-Raphaelites as Painters of Modern Life. The book is richly illustrated with more than 300 pictures of paintings, drawings, photographs, wallpapers and many other items displayed in the exhibition.

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