Art 100 Museum Paper

814 Words Jul 18th, 2013 4 Pages
Intro to Art/Art 100
Pre-Raphaelites
I visited National Gallery of Art, Washington DC on Friday, March 29, 2013 to see the exhibition “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900”.
It is the first major survey of the art of the Pre-Raphaelites to be shown in the United States features some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. The young members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848, shook the art world of mid-19th-century Britain by rejecting traditional approaches to painting. Combining scientific precision, an innovative approach to subject matter, and brilliant, clear colors, Pre-Raphaelitism was Britain's first avant-garde art movement.
Queen Victoria had been on the throne
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(In a futile attempt to keep her warm, he put candles beneath it, but she reportedly became ill afterward and her father refused to allow her to work for him again.) Rarely, however, had her demise been imagined as explicitly as in Millais’s painting, which shows her floating down the stream before the moment when, in the words of the Bard “her garments, heavy with their drink, / Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay / to muddy death.” Several years after Ophelia caused a sensation, another painting with a similarly bleak subject caught the attention of the public.

2. William Holman Hunt
The Awakening Conscience, 1853 –1854,
Oil on canvas, presented by Sir Colin and Lad Anderson through the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1976

Hunt’s The Awakening Conscience depicts a moment of salvation, a spiritual message embedded in a composition dense with symbolism. A kept woman, on hearing the song her lover has been singing, realizes her mistaken ways and rises from his lap. The sentimental lyrics reminded her of lost innocence; she looks out from the dark, gaudily furnished apartment that has been set up for their trysts, toward the light of the garden, reflected in the large gilded mirror behind her. The fallen woman was a shocking subject, but it fascinated many painters. Including Rossetti, who addressed the controversial theme in a poem and a number of drawings.

3. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix, c. 1864 – 1870

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