The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: Paintings, Youth, and Radicalism with Hattie Bennett

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: Paintings, Youth, and Radicalism with Hattie Bennett


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The paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood are some of the most-loved in English art. Formed in 1848 the group of radical young artists looked to the art of the early Italian renaissance as inspiration for form, color, and composition, which they combined with new subject matter taken from English literature, legend, social realism, and the bible. By 1853 the group had fractured, however, the ambitions of the brotherhood were felt in the Aesthetic Movement, the Arts and Crafts movement, and the French Impressionists and Symbolists. This conversation will focus on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) as we look at the three founders, their works, and their radical nature in the company of an art historian.

In 1848 the mysterious initials PRB appeared on several works of art exhibited in London. Three young artists had produced radically new works of art, in style and subject. Looking at the art made before 1500 the Pre-Raphaelites objected to the teachings of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the founder of the Royal Academy, who promoted the close study and impersonation of the art of the high renaissance. Taking English literature, legend, and social realism as themes, the Pre-Raphaelites broke conventions with color, composition, and style. Coming under severe criticism they found a champion in the great art critic John Ruskin who promoted their work.

In this seminar, we will look at the works of three of the founders of the PRB, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, probably the most radical of all the artists whose tender depictions of the Virgin Mary were so heavily criticized he refused to exhibit for a decade. We’ll discuss John Everett Millais, the artist-prodigy who entered the Royal Academy schools at 11 and was the most technically brilliant. His painting ‘Ophelia’ is probably the most loved and famous painting of the movement. Finally, William Holman Hunt whose interest in morality is evident in his paintings of contemporary life. Within five years the group had fractured with love affairs, jealousies and resentments splitting the group, however, the artists flourished, William Holman Hunts enjoyed huge success with his later religious works, Millais became the center of the Art Establishment as President of the Royal Academy and Rossetti developed a new style of art "art for art's sake" with Beauty at its core.

Led by an expert on Art History, Hattie Bennett, this interactive seminar will focus on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. We will look at the founding of the group and why it was considered radical. We will examine the key paintings of the movement and discuss their reception. Finally, we will look at the division of the group and the late careers of Millais and Hunt.

Hattie has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors, she has a life-long passion and fascination in Fine and Decorative Arts, particularly works produced in Europe from the 16th to 18th century. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th-century prints and drawings. Hattie has worked for London's foremost framer of important old master paintings during which time she sharpened her appreciation and understanding of the decorative arts and the changing tastes of collecting. Recently she has been dealing in prints and works of art as well as taking groups of all ages to museums and galleries.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

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S.
Excellent talk on Pre-Raphaelites
M
M.B.
Pre-Raphaelites

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.
Excellent talk on Pre-Raphaelites
M
M.B.
Pre-Raphaelites