Ed Voves highlights a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900, about the innovative painters who “dreamed of reaching a better future by reviving the values of the past, especially of the Middle Ages”:
The three founding Pre-Raphaelites – John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt … , idealistic art students in 1848, watched as political revolutions swept across the continent of Europe. They dreamed of a revolution too, but an aesthetic one inspiring a more equitable society for Britain… The Pre-Raphaelites shared several treasured ideals, but their painting styles varied greatly. The two transcendent themes, especially in their early work, were “truth to nature” and the power of religious faith. They aimed to depict the natural world with great fidelity, while evoking spiritual values as medieval artists had done.
(Image: John Everett Millais, “Christ in the House of His Parents,” 1849, via Wikimedia Commons)