A society of young artists and writers, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in London in 1848. They were known for controversially rebelling against the classical academic painting conventions of the day in favour of a meeting of medieval romanticism and a new realism, and were inspired by theories of John Ruskin who urged artists to 'go to nature', resulting in subject matter predominantly dealing with religious themes, love, death, and subjects from literature and poetry. The principal members of the group were William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti who all produced seminal and well-loved paintings such as The Awakening Conscience (1853), Ophelia (1851-2) and The Beloved (1855-6) respectively.
Jason Rosenfeld is Distinguished Chair and Associate Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College
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