Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's in a name - the PRB

In 1848, Holman Hunt, Millais and Rossetti were good friends and looking through a book of engravings from Pisa's Campo Santo, they decided to form a 'League of Sincerity' looking at life and nature in a new 'realistic' way and throwing off what they saw as the mannerism and artificiality of the painting styles of the time.
Hunt though that Pre-Raphaelite was a better name given their love of medieval artists who they thought had approached their art with an uncomplicated honesty. Rossetti suggested they add the word Brotherhood.. And so on that night, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was born. To bring the number of members up to the mystical number seven, they invited Fred Stephens, Thomas Woolner and James Collinson to join and a little later, Rossetti's brother William Michael (as secretary). Hunt later recalled how they discussed reinventing furniture, fabrics, buildings and even fashion.
They wanted to live in a house with PRB mext to the front door, that those not in the know would read as 'Please Ring Bell'.

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