"La Donna della Finestra" (detail) by Rossetti, 1879
The English painters, poets, and critics who gave birth to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 wanted to reform art by rejecting what they called the melodramatic style of High Renaissance artists like Raphael. The founding Pre-Raphaelites, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and William Holman Hunt, were determined to return their art to the clear storytelling and intense colors of early Italian and Flemish Renaissance painting.
Art historian Bonita Billman traces this fascinating movement from its origins to flowering conclusion, as well as examines its influence on the Arts and Crafts movement and its legacy of beauty.
9:30 to 10:45 a.m. To Paint Conscientiously
The origins, influences, and founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; early examples of these young artists’ paintings, including Millais’s Ophelia, Hunt’s The Awakening Conscience, and Rossetti’s Ecce Ancilla Domini.
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. I a.m. Half-Sick of Shadows
The movement’s women as muses, models, and artists in their own right; Elizabeth Siddal, Rosa Brett, Joanna Boyce Wells, Lucy and Catherine Brown, and Marie Spartali Stillman.
12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Break
1:15 to 2:30 p.m. The Blessed Damozel
The Romanticism of Rossetti; the second generation of the Brotherhood, including Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, who expanded the movement into textiles, wallpaper, furniture, book illustration, graphics, and stained glass.
2:45 to 4 p.m. The Fleshly School
The Brotherhood’s break-up in the 1850s; lasting influences and inspiration for the Aesthetic movement; Frederick Sandys, John William Waterhouse, Simeon Solomon, Valentine Prinsep, Evelyn de Morgan, and other later adherents.
Billman is an independent lecturer in the mid-Atlantic states, retired from the department of art and art history at Georgetown University.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*
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