Andrew Lloyd Webber TV - Rupert Maas - This Green and Pleasant Land TV - Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Matthew Collings TV - Jeremy Paxman TV -
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, or PRB for short, was founded in secret in 1848 and numbered just seven people. Of the original group three are famous: John Everett Millais, the youngest ever entrant to the Royal Academy of Art. The Christian visionary William Holman Hunt. And Dante Gabriel Rossetti ... All of them were around twenty years of age and all of them were determined to shake up Victorian London. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Perspectives, ITV 2011
Their art was to take art out of the establishment and to give it back to the people. ibid.
In 1853 Holman Hunt began to paint pictures about contemporary issues, not least the surge in prostitution, which he saw as a direct consequence of the industrial revolution. ibid.
The idea was to discover the natural world which was threatened by the Industrial Revolution. ibid.
Primed in white so that the colours stand right out at you. ibid.
At the same time Holman Hunt’s companion – John Everett Millais – was working on a picture that was to become the defining image of the pre-Raphalite era: Ophelia. ibid.
10,817. There is perhaps a hint of madness in Pre-Raphaelite painting. ibid.
Rossetti is renowned for strong solitary images of women. ibid.
Edward Burne-Jones: and the second wave of Pre-Raphaelite painters. ibid.
Architecture: One of the foremost architects of the age was William Butterfield who completely reinterpreted medieval Gothic architecture in Victorian terms ... This is Keble College, Oxford ... Amazing. Staggering. If you really don’t like it, get a life ... I will never have a word said against it. Architecture became a central part of the Arts and Crafts movement in the late nineteenth century. And the Pre-Raphaelites were keen to play an active part. ibid.
Art Nouveau completely anticipated. ibid.
Kelmscott Manor on the bank of the Thames ... William Morris chose it as his summer home and signed a joint lease with Rossetti ... Rossetti hated the place. ibid.
William Morris ... a complete homage to calligraphy ... The Iliad ... Astounding. All gold leaf ... Almost unbelievable ... It almost takes your breath away this detail - it’s all about beauty. ibid.
So many of the paintings are about love, loss and death. ibid.
J W Waterhouse ... The Lady of Shallot is based on the romantic poem, the poem of Alfred Lord Tennyson ... You really do see that the guy could paint. You really do. ibid.
The idea of untimely death fascinated Victorian artists. Poets often got the worst of it. ibid.
The Pre-Raphaelites were all about eighteen years old. They were young, very young. They formed a Brotherhood in 1848 ... The idea that it’s a repressive time is simply wrong. The idea that it’s a culturally stagnant time is absolutely wrong. It was our visual renaissance. And the Pre-Raphaelites were at the heart of it. Rupert Maas, art critic
Holman Hunt and his Pre-Raphaelite colleagues remain controversial to this day. This Green and Pleasant Land: The Story of British Landscape Painting, BBC 2011
The hyper-realism of the Pre-Raphaelites became the house-style of Victorian Britain. ibid.
Two young men, projectors of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, have recently come up to town from Oxford, and are now very intimate friends of mine. Their names are Morris and Jones. They have turned artists instead of taking up any other career to which the university generally leads, and both are men of real genius. Jones’s designs are marvels of finish and imaginative detail, unequalled by anything unless perhaps Albert Durer’s finest works. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, letter to William Bell Scott
The blessed damozel lean’d out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters still’d at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Blessed Damozel, 1850
Eat thou and drink; to-morrow thou shalt die.
Surely the earth, that’s wise being very old,
Needs not our help. Then loose me, love, and hold
Thy sultry hair up from my face; that I
May pour for thee this golden wine, brim-high,
Till round the glass thy fingers glow like gold.
We'll drown all hours: thy song, while hours are toll’d,
Shall leap, as fountains veil the changing sky. Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Pre-Raphaelites: These artists present Ruskin’s revolutionary social ideas in the form of metaphors – nature is the main one … The Pre-Raphaelites all read Ruskin’s books and adored the idea that reality is changing in ways that seem inhumane. Matthew Collings, This is Civilisation III, Channel 4 2007
Keeping a mistress wasn’t unusual. In William Holman Hunt’s scandalous picture The Awakening Conscious a man canoodles with his mistress in their love nest. Jeremy Paxman, The Victorians II: Home Sweet Home, BBC 2009
One Victorian led a call to arms against Victorian values: Edward Burne-Jones. Jeremy Paxman, The Victorians IV: Dreams & Nightmares