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Pre-Raphaelite

Secret society of young artists (and one writer) founded in London in 1848. Name Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood referred to their opposition to Royal Academy's promotion of Renaissance master Raphael as ideal artist. In revolt also against triviality of immensely popular genre painting of time. Principal members William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Inspired by theories of John Ruskin who urged artists to 'go to nature'. Believed in an art of serious subjects treated with maximum realism. Principal themes initially religious, then subjects from literature and poetry mostly dealing with love and death. Also explored modern social problems. After initial heavy opposition became highly influential, with second phase around Rossetti from about 1860 making major contribution to Symbolism.

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