The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy
British Art and Design
May 20–October 26, 2014
Accompanied by a brochure
The Pre-Raphaelites galvanized the British art world in the second half of the nineteenth century with a creative vision that resonates to this day. Rejecting contemporary academic practice as vacuous and stifling, they sought to produce work that was vivid, sincere, and uplifting. Their name affirms their initial sources of inspiration: medieval and early Renaissance art from before the era of Raphael. Originally championed by a small, secret brotherhood, the movement swiftly gained adherents, who introduced new approaches and ambitions.
This exhibition brings together some thirty objects from across the Museum and from local private collections to highlight the second generation of the Pre-Raphaelites, focusing on the key figures Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Paintings, drawings, furniture, ceramics, stained glass, textiles, and book illustrations from the 1860s through the 1890s, many united for the first time, demonstrate the enduring impact of Pre-Raphaelite ideals as they were adapted by different artists and developed across a range of media. At a time of renewed appreciation for art of the Victorian age, the installation directs fresh attention toward the Metropolitan's little-known holdings in this important area.
This exhibition is complemented by William Morris: Textiles and Wallpapers (February 3–July 20, 2014) and Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection (April 29–July 14, 2014).