FINE ARTS

The Pre-Raphaelites

Abbeville. Oct. 2019. 400p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780789213426. $150. FINE ARTS
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In 1848, three young artists joined together to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, and William Holman Hunt set out to break the solemn bonds of Victorian art style and bring back the vibrancy to art they felt had been lost since Raphael (1483–1520). The founders of this art movement felt the current trend of the Royal Academy of Art leaned toward the unimaginative and artificial. Inspired by Italian art of the 14th and 15th centuries, they sought to capture the direct and uncomplicated depiction of nature as demonstrated by pre-Raphael artists. In this authoritative volume, 19th-century British art expert Petiot (art history, Univ. Paris Nanterre) traces the beginnings of the movement to its subsequent influence in the Arts and Crafts and other movements. Over 300 color illustrations depict the paintings of leading Pre-Raphaelite artists. The narrative is thorough and informative, covering history, influences, and themes.
VERDICT Art historians, students, and art enthusiasts will find this volume enlightening; however, cost will be a consideration.

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