The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood are the most celebrated group of painters to emerge in Victorian Britain, championed by some as avant garde, dismissed by others as the lowest form of kitsch, and celebrated often as much for their supposedly raucous private lives. This module will examine the mythology that surrounds the PRB and their work. Where did this reputation come from, how was it fostered in the nineteenth century, and what did their contemporaries make of the PRB and their art works? We will look beyond Millais, Hunt and Rossetti (and their biographies) to provide more complex vision of Pre-Raphaelitism and its reception. One week will also be devoted to Pre-Raphaelite sculpture, all too often overlooked. Students will explore a range of different approaches to Pre-Raphaelite painting and sculpture, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
By the end of the module students should have acquired the following: