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In September 1848, a group of seven men banded together secretly to create the “Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood,” or “P.R.B.” (Whiteley 6). This group included: Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti (1828-1882), John Everett Millais (1829-1896), William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), Thomas Woolner (1825-1892), William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), James Collinson (1825-1881), and Frederick George Stephens (1828-1907). Though this movement lasted only a few years, these men pulled the art establishment away from the stagnant rules of the Royal Academy by painting works that revitalized religious, moral, and romantic themes, and made them more approachable; firmly grounded in human emotions and reality.The men of the Brotherhood sent approachable religious and textual messages by painting subjects, nature, and colors with painstaking attention to detail, focusing on truthfulness above all. The artists and non-artists alike brought together their mutual distaste for the rules of the British Royal Academy, and combined forces to push art into an era that reflected the progress of science and the inherent beauty of nature. Still, they did not accomplish this all on their own. Social restrictions, unyielding morality, and social conventions that prevailed in Victorian society had long begun to erode with new scientific discoveries and developments during the late 1900s. Dark, 17th century Dutch-influenced moral themes, and gloomy colors had already begun to lighten up. The men in this group were simply able to harness these revolutionary details together and brought them to public attention, reflecting fluid movements under brittle surface of Victorian society. Early Christian works, Germanic and gothic works, and “pure” early Italian art (pre-Raphae…

…n inescapable cycle of guilt for his previous wife’s suicide and his unfulfilled love toward Jane Burden, who had married another. The last member, Stephens, had never painted to begin with. In the end, the Brotherhood stayed true to their overarching theme of reality. Pre-Raphaelites had served their purpose as a group in the art world, ushering in a new era that encouraged artists to step outside of stuffy classicism into the freshness of new art. Now, the world would continue to move forward, even if they could not move with it.

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Works Cited

Harding, James. The Pre-Raphaelites. London: Academy Editions, 1977. Print.Hawksley, Lucinda. Essential Pre-Raphaelites. Bath: Dempsey Parr, 1999. Print.Hilton, Timothy. The Pre-Raphaelites. London: Thames and Hudson, 1970. Print.Whiteley, Jon. Oxford and the Pre-Raphaelites. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2004. Print.

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