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Thursday, 21 February 2013 13:56

First Major U.S. Survey of Pre-Raphaelites on View at National Gallery

John Everett Maillais' 'Ophelia,' 1851-1852. Oil on canvas. John Everett Maillais' 'Ophelia,' 1851-1852. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery, London. Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894 via the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Now on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900, the first major survey of Pre-Raphaelite art to take place in the United States.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which formed in 1848, was a group of English painters, poets, and critics who rejected the traditional approaches to art and painting established by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael (1483-1520) and Michelangelo (1473-1564). Instead, the Pre-Raphaelites turned to medieval and early Renaissance art for inspiration often painting subjects from Shakespeare and the Bible. Pre-Raphaelitism, which rattled Britain from 1848 to 1900, was considered the country’s first avant-garde movement.

The exhibition at the National Gallery features approximately 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative objects by the movement’s leading members including John Everett Millais (1829-1896), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), and William Holman Hunt (1827-1910). Organized by Tate Britain in collaboration with the National Gallery, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design will be on view through May 19, 2013.  

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