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Showing posts from November, 2012

Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian Avant-Garde

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I'm in London and recently went to see the extensive Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain, entitled Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian Avant-Garde. I’ve been a huge fan of this school since I was a teenager so it was a thrilling experience. 


I saw my favorite John Everett Millais painting, “Ophelia” “in person” for the first time and felt quite overwhelmed by the attention to detail, the vibrant quality of the color and the emotional connection it engenders.

Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, drowns herself in a stream, is such a terribly tragic Shakespearean figure. However, I couldn't help but think about Millais' poor model, Lizzie Siddal, lying in a bath filled with water for so many hours that she caught a bad cold.


The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in London in 1948 as a way to express the artists’ dissatisfaction with the drawing style being advocated by the Royal Academy Schools.

For them, it was too mechanical. …