Truth & Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Sources of Inspiration by Melissa E. BuronStarted in the early 19th century by a group of British painters who rejected the sovereignty of the Royal Academy, the Pre-Raphaelites embraced the natural world and bright colors - as opposed to the dark palettes and amorphous lines that emerged in the wake of the Renaissance. Their mission was to be fundamentally modern by emulating the past. Now readers can appreciate their achievements in this volume that offers side-by-side comparisons of 19th-century masterpieces with the 15th- and 16th-century Early Italian and Early Netherlandish paintings that inspired them. Exquisite reproductions of works by Giotto, Fra Angelico, van Eyck, Botticelli, Titian, Veronese, and Raphael are presented alongside examples by William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and others. The book traces the evolution of the Pre-Raphaelites, and details how these painters were exposed to the early masters as they traveled and encountered the finest European collections. The volume also features decorative arts, including stained glass and tapestries in emulation of Flemish and French textiles as well as medievalized ecclesiastic decorations. The result is an illuminating examination that delves into the aesthetic vocabulary of the Pre-Raphaelites and broadens our understanding of their motives and inspiration.
FAMSF Curator Melissa Buron Truth and Beauty The Pre Raphaelites and the Old Masters Legion of Honor
Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters
I n —a year of political revolution across Europe—seven young Englishmen formed a secret artistic alliance with aspirations to rebel against the contemporary art world. Calling themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood PRB , the artists defined a new visual language of truth and beauty against the backdrop of their rapidly industrializing world. Drawing on literary sources, poetry, and scenes from medieval and modern life, the Pre-Raphaelites established themselves as the most radical contemporary artists of the Victorian period by engaging in an aesthetic dialogue with art and artists from past centuries. The significance of this mediated experience of art cannot be overstated. Hunt admits that initially the Pre-Raphaelites were not looking directly at early Italian paintings but at prints after frescoes. Yet early Netherlandish artists are also accurately classified in the generation before Raphael.
Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti honored both the 13th-century poet Dante's muse and his own late wife in is "Beata Beatrix" painting from The quirky Pre-Raphaelites are carefully documented. Plus, many works by the old masters who inspired them, gathered from across America and Europe, are displayed side by side. Initially, the Pre-Raphaelites were rebelling against the state of painting in England in the middle of the 19th century, the style and subject matter reinforced by the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Several were students there, and, astonishingly, they were 19 to 21 years old when they declared their intentions. Subjects were often drawn from early religious paintings, themes were meant to be morally uplifting.
In the mausoleum-like lower galleries at the Legion of Honor, there are no windows to remind you of the outside world. Absent these external reminders, the galleries and their contents create a sense of timelessness, aided by the fact that they're filled with art spanning nearly eight centuries. The paintings, textiles and prints of both the Pre-Raphaelites and the medieval and Renaissance artists they admired are full of vibrant colors, angular poses, dense symbolism and romantic scenes, amounting to six galleries of pure beauty. But before we get too far into the contents of those galleries: the name. Being a Pre-Raphaelite meant returning to the primary source material—the old masters and nature itself. In early Pre-Raphaelite works, this meant precision. The titular figure stands up from her floral needlework to stretch her back, leaves scattered around her workspace and outside her window.
This dazzling book examines the inspiration behind the work of the Pre-Raphaelites and offers comparisons between the radical 19th-century artists and the masterworks they revered. Started in the early 19th century by a group of British painters who rejected the sovereignty of the Royal Academy, the Pre-Raphaelites embraced the natural world and bright colors—as opposed to the dark palettes and amorphous lines that emerged in the wake of the Renaissance. Their mission was to be fundamentally modern by emulating the past. Now readers can appreciate their achievements in this volume that offers side-by-side comparisons of 19th-century masterpieces with the 15th- and 16th-century Early Italian and Early Netherlandish paintings that inspired them. The book traces the evolution of the Pre-Raphaelites, and details how these painters were exposed to the early masters as they traveled and encountered the finest European collections. Curator Melissa E. Buron makes the story of the exhibition, as well as the story of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, accessible whether you saw the show in person at the Legion of Honor or not.
This exhibit is going to blow you away. Which is rare, as major shows often do a circuit across various U. Artworks that will consume your senses and leave you feeling utterly dazzled! So how was curator Melissa Buron able to get such excellent objects? The show she envisioned was about the Pre-Raphaelites , a group of rebel artists from Victorian England who were fed up with the official teachings of the Academy, which held Raphael as the pinnacle of artistic achievement. While Raphael himself was much loved by the Pre-Raphaelites, they considered the artwork produced by his followers to be stale and histrionic.