Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods

Pre-Raphaelites

In 1848, seven English artists (of various disciplines) joined to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, focused on reviving a level of academic integrity in art, which they felt had been compromised. The Pre-Raphaelites, as they came to be known, felt that Raphael, and the Mannerist painters who followed, had relied too heavily on classical and inaccurate poses, respectively. The Pre-Raphaelites' foremost concern was an exhaustive awareness and study of the natural world, so that their works might contain an extraordinary level of detail and complexity. These artists adopted an approach of naturalism with attention to textures, line, light and color, inspired by Italian and Flemish works from the Early Renaissance. The Pre-Raphaelites' work was often met with criticism, notably John Everett Millais' painting, Christ in the House of His Parents. Due to the raw, naturalist style of the painting, and the unflattering depiction of Mary, the work was labeled by many as blasphemous. The Brotherhood never managed to gain much traction, in part because of internal disagreements regarding the trajectory of the movement, but the exacting style did influence later movements, including the European Symbolists.


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