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Posted inArt

Pre-Raphaelites With Guns

When Italian revolutionaries made an assassination attempt on Napoleon III in 1858, and it turned out that they’d been refugees in Great Britain, the British looked at their outnumbered army and rightly wondered if they should beef up their forces in comparison to the enraged French. One of these volunteer regiments came from an unlikely group: the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Posted inArt

Shock of the Old: The Pre-Raphaelites Go Back to the Future

In its first iteration in London, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, the survey now on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, bore the edgier title Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde. We may not customarily think of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) — founded in secret in September 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and soon attracting other artists — as an avant-garde, but the label does seem apt. The PRB painters and their affiliated artists were an embattled band of refuseniks, rejecting the standard practices of modern painting, and with it modernity itself, as corrupt and unsustainable.