The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Nature of the movement In art it refers to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of avant-garde painters (associated with the art critic John Ruskin). In literature it describes the poets who had some connections with these artists and whose work shares some of the characteristics of Pre-Raphaelite art. The Pre-Raphaelites turned away from the materialism of industrialised England.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood William Holman Hunt, b. 1827Dante Gabriel Rossetti, b. 1828John Everett Millais, b. 1829William Michael Rossetti, b. 1829Other members: James Collinson, Thomas Woolner, Fredric George Stephens
Where does the name come from? The Pre-Raphaelites thought Raphael had produced technically perfect religious pictures, but with little spiritual feeling.On the contrary, they admired the art and painters before Raphael.
The Brotherhood's early doctrines were expressed in four declarations:to have genuine ideas to express to study Nature attentively, so as to know how to express them to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parodying and learned by rote most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues
These principles are deliberately non-dogmatic, since the Brotherhood wished to emphasise the personal responsibility of individual artists to determine their own ideas and methods of depiction. Influenced by Romanticism, they thought that freedom and responsibility were inseparable.
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Combination of realistic and fleshly (even ugly) details and religious subjects, which scandalized criticsInterest in studying nature rather than following established rules of compositionInspiration from medieval sources (King Arthur)Bright colorsProtest against academic painting (e.g., that of Sir Joshua Reynolds), with its rules about contrast and form.
The Pre-Raphaelites Developed out of Romantic MovementA call for a fresh vision, a challenge to orthodoxiesTruth was not a given fact but something relative to the individual mindAim to go back to a more genuine art, rooted in realism and truth to natureBright paintings on a white backgroundAttention to detail and colorSubjects from medieval tales, poetry, and religion
Pre-Raphaelite poetry’s features -Emphasis on beautiful, sensuous details -Feelings of nostalgia for a dream-like Medioeval world -Symbolic meaning associated with common objects or situations -Use of melodious language
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
My own belief is that I am a poet (within the limit of my powers) primarily and that it is my poetic tendencies that chiefly give value to my pictures: only painting being – what poetry is not – a livelihood – I have put my poetry chiefly in that form. On the other hand, the bread-and-cheese question has led a good deal of my painting being pot-boiling and no more – whereas my verse, being unprofitable, has remained (as much as I have found time for) unprostituted.(Lettera di D.G.Rossetti a T.G.Hake, 21 aprile 1870)
A Little bit about the author Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born in 1828 and died in 1882.He was also an illustrator, painter and translator.Rossetti’s personal life was closely linked to his workHe followed the Aesthetic movement. Aesthetics studies new ways of seeing and perceiving the world
Rossetti's personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses: Fanny Cornforth Elizabeth Siddal Jane Morris
Rossetti's poetry was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats. His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence The House of Life
Dante Rossetti’s Poetry Longing to return to world of medieval ChristendomCombination of Anglican piety and Italian impetuosityAttention to detailSister arts of painting and poetry
His sonnet sequence «The House of Life»(1870-1881) is an evocation of «life representative, as associated with aspiration and foreboding, or with ideal art and beauty».
One poem, "Nuptial Sleep", described a couple falling asleep after sex. This was part of Rossetti's sonnet sequence The House of Life, a complex series of poems tracing the physical and spiritual development of an intimate relationship.
Rossetti described the sonnet form as a "moment's monument", implying that it sought to contain the feelings of a fleeting moment, and to reflect upon their meaning. The House of Life was a series of interacting monuments to these moments — an elaborate whole made from a mosaic of intensely described fragments. This was Rossetti's most substantial literary achievement.
Life, love, death, terror, mystery, beauty…Rossetti was never afraid to use the great commonplaces of poetry, but he does so here by saying something unusual in English poetry: the awe that beauty brings to someone of his sensitive but unstable temperament. Rossetti was a deeply sensual poet.