The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters



Search:: Artists Alphabetically   Artists by Country   Artists by Century   Artists by Movement

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB)

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) was founded in 1848. 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. They 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 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. 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 "We live in an age of base conceit and baser servility—an age whose intellect is chiefly formed by pillage, and occupied in desecration; one day mimicking, the next destroying, the works of all the noble persons who made its intellectual or art life possible to it:—an age without honest confidence enough in itself to carve a cherry-stone with an original fancy, but with insolence enough to abolish the solar system, if it were allowed to meddle with it. In the midst of all this, you have to become lowly and strong" 

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB)  Themes
Arthurian legends
femme fatale 
Italian themes 
classical themes 
 historical themes 
 literary themes 
wood nymphs

Writers who influenced The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) Painters

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


Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood  -  Quattrocento art, mythology, the classical world,  Pre-Raphaelite Journal, Margaret Gatty,  medieval era, mermaids, Florentine art, spiritually significant,, The Germ, idealized biblical themes, Jewish folklore,  19th century, avant-garde movement, Raphael,   Romantic poetry,  Goethe, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, mythology, history painting, 1848, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, John Keats, Shakespeare, Coventry Patmore, Charles Dickens, Tennyson, romanticized landscapes, Christian symbolism, Cyclographic Club, Early Renaissance painting,


If you feel you have worthwhile information you would like to contribute we would love to hear from you. We collect essential biographical information and artist quotes from folks all over the globe and appreciate your participation. When submitting please, if possible, site the source and provide English translation. Email to 2017


art  movements

top 50 painters


100 greatest paintings

artist biographies