The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters



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John Collier

Romantic British, Victorian Era, Painter, Author and Fine Arts Educator and Member of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB)

One of the Most Prominent Portrait Painters of The Victorian Age

Education - Munich Art Academy

Artistically and stylistically influenced the following painters and art periods;  Early Renaissance, Byzantine Style, Gothic era Frederick Leighton,  William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais

Cause of Death - Old Age


John Collier was not aiming simply to illustrate a legend or myth but was inclined toward a more individual interpretation that symbolized a deeper spiritual meaning.

The term Pre-Raphaelites refers to High Renaissance artist Raphael. Some members of the PRB referred to Raphael's work as slosh and criticized his decadent themes and lifestyle. Dante Rossetti and the other (PRB) artists  embraced the artistic style of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Paolo Veneziano, Andrea del Verrocchio and Giotto Bondone The  (PRB) felt that these painters  infused their works with drama, godliness and sacred themes.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) was founded in 1848. The spirit and motive of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was  a certain profound self-vision formed by  going within to discover and express it with the greatest possible purity and power. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, loved and admired by PRB artists, asserted "When Nature begins to reveal her open secret to a man, he feels an irresistible longing for her worthiest interpreter, Art."

The most important artist was a  handsome and charming painter named Dante Gabriel RossettiRossetti and his chums, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, rejected Neoclassical and High Renaissance art and embraced the spiritually infused works of the Early Renaissance, Byzantine Style  and Gothic  painters. The Pre-Raphaelite color pallet differed from artist to artist but most artworks are characterized by fresh, luminous jewel tones. According to Victorian art critic John Ruskin "The man who can see all gray, and red, and purples in a peach, will paint the peach rightly round, and rightly altogether. But the man who has only studied its roundness may not see its purples and grays, and if he does not will never get it to look like a peach; so that great power over color is always a sign of large general art-intellect." Pre-Raphaelite painters sought to created a new artistic style using biblical, mythological, and literary imagery as the subjects of their art-works. Their paintings often contain obscure visual symbols and secret riddles.

The idealistic Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painters wanted to change the world with their art, much like the hippies of the 1960s. They scorned the pretentious conventionality of the Victorian era.  They sought a return to spirituality, courtliness,  brotherly love and religious piousness.  The artists did not strive for the ideal physical or emotional beauty, but the utmost spiritual beauty. They rebelled against the unbridled materialism and rampant hypocrisy that was typical of the Victorian middle and upper classes. Victorian art critic John Ruskin asserts "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. "

John Collier 's  favorite subject matter
Arthurian legends
femme fatale
Italian themes
classical themes
 historical themes
 literary themes
wood nymphs

Writers who influenced John Collier

Edward Bulwer-Lytton
John Keats
Coventry Patmore
Charles Dickens
Dinah Maria Mulock

Painters Associated With The Pre- Raphaelite Movement

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Everett Millais

William Holman Hunt

Edward Robert Hughes

John William Godward

John William Waterhouse

Lord Frederic Leighton

Edward Burne-Jones

James Collinson

Walter Howell Deverell


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 The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters