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The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites

The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites

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In 1848 seven inexperienced young artists banded together to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Together they created a novel style that retains the power to shock, as well as fascinate, a century and a half later. By working together, the Pre-Raphaelites constituted one of the first and most distinctive group movements in modern art, comparable in the scope of their achievement to the Impressionists in France.
Widely regarded as the best introduction to the Brotherhood, this revised paperback edition has a new preface and an updated bibliography. It explores the collaborative practices of the Brothers and their close associates, including the major role played by women artists of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. The materials, techniques, and working methods of the artists are analysed, using many close-up' details, to ask how Pre-Raphaelite pictures compel the viewer to see more, and more vividly, than traditional painting styles. This intensity of observation reinforces the distinctive subject matter of the pictures: the natural world and the human model, gender identities and sexual relationships, debates on politics, science, and religion.