Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Go to Nature ... #2

['The Eve of St Agnes', William Holman Hunt]
Walker Gallery, Liverpool
Holman Hunt was inspired by Ruskin's second volume of Modern Painters. The above painting was submitted by Hunt to the RA Schools whilst he was still a student there. Millais painted some of the details. It was inspired by a poem of Keats, showing the flight of two lovers, Madeline and Porphyro after a drunken banquet.
The PR Brotherhood shared Ruskin's aims to revitalize English painting and an enthusiasm for Medieval art.

At the RA Exhibition of 1848, Rossetti found only one painting he liked, Hunt's picture above, and they became good friends, setting up a studio together in August 1848 in Cleveland Street, near Regents Park. They also travelled together in Belgium and France looking at Medieval paintings.
Rossetti met Millais, already a good friend of Holman Hunt's and together they discussed and then formed the Brotherhood (probably first suggested by Rossetti). They were all between 19 and 22 years old.
Just a note to say that it was often originally written "Pre-Raffaelite Brotherhood"

['Isabella', John Everett Millais] 1848-49
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
painted when Millais was only 19!
Many of his friends were models for those around the table, eg. the man wiping his mouth was his Father. The model for Isabella was the wife of Millais' half-brother.

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