The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters

100 Greatest Painters  Artists Alphabetically  Artists by Country  Artists by Century   Artists by Movement

The Pre- Raphaelite  Artists


Famous 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

Walter Howell Deverell



Information About the PRB style of Painting

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) was founded in 1848. The most important artist of the PRB was a  handsome and charming painter named Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Rossetti and his associates, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, rejected Neoclassical and High Renaissance art and embraced the spiritually infused works of the Early RenaissanceByzantine Style  and Gothic  painters. They sought to create 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 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 perverse lifestyle. Raphael, although one of the greatest painters in the history of art, died of syphilis and was known as a drunkard and carouser. This did not sit well with the PRB painters who believed that only a morally pure artist could produce morally pure art. 

  John Ruskin, famous Victorian Art Critic and major influence on the PRB cautioned "The picture which has the nobler and more numerous ideas, however awkwardly expressed, is a greater and a better picture than that which has the less noble and less numerous ideas, however beautifully expressed"   

The Expressionist Art Movement

"To restrict the artist is a crime. It is to murder germinating life." - Egon Schiel

The Expressionist art movement was conceived in opposition to Impressionism.  The Expressionist painters required emotional drama, pure color and innovation. Emil Nolde, German, Expressionist Painter observed, "The art of an artist must be his own art. It is... always a continuous chain of little inventions, little technical discoveries of one's own, in one's relation to the tool, the material and the colors." 

They disdained dreamy landscapes, water lilies and Japanese bridges. Controversial Austrian Expressionist Painter, Egon Schiele  asserted, "I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds." Expressionist painters looked inward at their own emotions, and less upon the outside world for inspiration. Painters of the Expressionist generation grew up on the battlefield, witnessing wartime atrocities and returning to war ravaged countries. 

The German Expressionists, 
George Grosz,
 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde   dominated the art scene with powerful, emotional work based on the human struggle and futility of war. Their art-work was born in a world of confusion and social collapse. 
James Ensor declared "My art tends toward the literary. My pictures tend toward the outskirts of painting: But why generalize? It is possible to realize one thing or another, according to the impressions gained from one point of view or another. But it is too difficult to make a general rule."

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