Archive for Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Pre Raphaelite Delights that last longer than 15 minutes with Lashings of Ginger Beer,

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN, exhibitions, HISTORY, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2011 by echostains

It’s been ages since I last posted (the longest yet) but I hope to make amends today by writing a longer post – a kind of round-up of posts I should have written.

Enid Blyton

The 11th August was popular children’s writer Enid Blyton’s birthday (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968).  Here’s a  a link to another post I wrote about this author over on my Bookstains.  Eileen A Soper illustrated every one of 21   Famous Five books. 


Eileen A Soper (b. 1905 – 1990 Hertfordshire UK)was an illustrator , print maker and a watercolourist.  She had her first exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1921 at the age of 15, making her the youngest artist ever to exhibit.  Two of her etchings were bought by Queen Mary. 




Her work has great nostalgic appeal and is as attractive today to adults as it was a source of delight to them when they were  children.  A gallery of this artist’s work can be found here






Eileen Sitting in a chair watercolour 1923

Other artists birthdays include Andy Warhol whose birthday I celebrated a while back with this post which featured one a page of my altered book  (this book is still ongoing… complete with artist research)

Andy Warhol-Self-Portrait-1986














Work by Ford Madox Brown

News of an exciting exhibition is coming to Manchester City Gallery (Saturday 24 September 2011 – Sunday 29 January 2012)  A major exhibition of Pre Raphaelite artist Ford Maddox Brown will go on show.  Over 140 paintings by the artist, including his Manchester Town Hall murals (which I have seen) will be exhibited.  The work will be divided into different themes and periods of  the artist’s life including his radical change of direction artistically.  Ford Madox Brown is particularly well-known for his narrative paintings which relate to life in the Victorian age and I think that viewing the paintings collectively will  give the viewer a clearer idea of how radical the Pre Raphaelites really were.  The 12 paintings, known as The Manchester murals depict life in the city in the Victorian age – a must for any Mancunian interested in their city.  The exhibition which will also include a rediscovered painting by the artist.  The painting The Seraph’s Watch  could prove to be a crowd puller.  Here’s a tantalising detail from it below.

Eileen A Soper Gallery (images from there)

Heather’s Blyton pages (all the book images can be found here too)

Manchester City Art Gallery 

The Enid Blyton Society

Andy Warhol image and art history here

More about Ford Madox Brown (and Work image) here

Seraph’s Watch image and an interesting article about this exhibition and Victorian art in general here

Exhibition: David Hancock ‘Time to Pretend’

Posted in ART, exhibitions with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2011 by echostains

Mikey as link, Pencil crayons on paper

David Hancock explores the space between physicality and psychological space using a  hyper-realist technique.  His exhibition Time to Pretend (The Hub, Manchester 3rd – 18th March 2011) elevates the ordinary to the  decidedly extraordinary.   Gaming and urban folklore are fused together in these intricate drawings.  This  realism was made even more extraordinary by the actual presence of his subjects (his friends) wandering round the exhibition on opening night, making their likenesses in these portaits all the more startling!

Daryl as Tifa Lockhart pencil crayon on paper

The work is escapist – yet it plays with reality –  a moment in time.  The artist  uses photographic images which he then translates into a narrative via little pixel like brushstrokes (or in this work, pencil crayon on paper).  The results are disconcerting – as the Gamers are simultaneously revealed, yet hide behind these roles, providing the viewer with flashes of revelation which are tantalising.

miriam as Lolita Pencil Crayon on paper

Hancock documents escapism in our youth subculture and whilst also referencing utopian vision.  The reality and unreality of these are what the artist plays with.  Escapism through computer gaming and role-playing meets utopia and in the Gaming portraits the individual is attached by an umbilical cord to their controller.  Hancock calls these works double portraits as in a sense he is simultaneously showing the two worlds of their personalities as they immerse their selves in their Game playing and their character roles. The work, though contemporary has its roots in Romanticism and the  utopian visions held by Ruskin, Morris and the Pre-Raphaelite.  The characters take on special powers, hints of which are shown in the portraits as they fly through time to become the hero’s of the now.  An interesting and thought-provoking exhibition by Hancock.  I shall look forward to seeing his other larger scale work.  To really appreciate these images please go to the artist website where larger versions of these works, including many others can be seen. 

David Hancock website here 

Images from  here and  here

More details of this exhibition here


Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2011 by echostains

The purpose of the artist’s Muse is manifold.  That elusive being who showers  inspiration on man and bathes in the glory of the artists recreation.  The Pre Raphaelites had an eye for these beautiful women and celebrated their beauty with paint – if not always by deed (you know who you are Mr Rossetti).  I came across this video which is accompanied by the most wonderful music, featuring Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris (the more well-known of the Muses).  The artists include  Burne-Jones, Millais, Rossetti and Waterhouse: timeless art.

Video by  with thanks!

My previous post about the art of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, featuring a poll to find the top Pre Raphaelite painting.

There’s now 4 poems in the American Gothic Poetry Challenge over on Bookstains

The Wonderful Myth

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, HISTORY with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2010 by echostains

I’ve just come across this video about the ever popular Pre-Raphaelite painters.  Some of the artists, I am not familiar with – Edward Roberts Hughes and Charles Lock Eastlake are two of them.  But the video is just the thing to transport the spirit into another age (Victorian)- then into  yet another age (the ancient world of myth).  It just goes to show that a good story never dies and shall always linger on in our collective romantic memory:-)   The video is rather long and the music is by Vengellis (not a fan) but the paintings both recognised and unfamiliar are a veritable feast for the eyes 🙂

The video is by gilcarosio – thanks!

PS Things are hotting up over at my other blog Bookstains!  More poems have been added to the Dickens challenge:-)

Just click Charles to have a look – and perhaps join in:-)

Poll – My Pre-Raphaelite Favorite

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by echostains


Beata beatrix by Rossetti

Pre- Raphaelite fans will be delighted with the art world’s latest find.  It’s a previously unseen drawing by  Dante Gabriel Rossetti of William Morris’s wife Jane.  The drawing which has been in a private collection shall go on display in January next year.  It is a full-scale pastel drawing called Mnemosyne.  The actual painting is on display in the Delaware Art Museum.  The drawing will be shown at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  Jane Morris‘s beauty came to typify the Pre -Raphaelite idea of classical beauty.  Morris and Elizabeth Siddal are immortalised in their art.

The drawing study for the 1881 painting Mnemosyne which will go on display next year

Much has been wrote about the Pre- Raphaelite brotherhood which were founded in 1848 by  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John  Everett Millais.  The brotherhood consisted of critics, poets and painters. William Michael Rossetti (brother to Gabriel) James Collinson, Frederick George Stephens, and Thomas Woolner made up the seven original members – other artists were added later.  The Pre -Raphaelites believed that the classical poses and compositions of Raphael in particular had a corrupting influence on academic art teaching.  Joshua Reynolds, (whom they nicknamed ‘Sloshua’) came in for some criticism for his painting technique which the Pre -Raphaelites considered ‘sloppy and formulaic form of academic Mannerism’.  They wished to return art to use of abundant detail and rich bright colours seen in Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art.

Isabella and the pot of Basil by Holman Hunt

The Brotherhood’s early doctrines were expressed in four declarations:

  1. to have genuine ideas to express;
  2. to study Nature attentively, so as to know how to express them;
  3. to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parodying and learned by rote;
  4. and, most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues



Christ in the House of his Parents by Millais

One of my favorite Pre -Raphaelites is John William Waterhouse,a later Pre- Raphaelite.  I have  included him here, to take the place of non painter William Micheal Rossetti.

work by Ford Maddox Brown

To Let by Collinson


The  critic and champion of the P.R. was John Ruskin and although an exquisite draftsman, but I haven’t included him this time.  I have however, included Ford Maddox Brown instead of Frederick George Stephens, as Stephens was the Pre- Raphaelites  promoter, rather than artist. 

The Beguiling of Merlin by Burne-Jones

 Thomas Woolner is also ommitted as he was a sculptor rather than painter.  He has been replaced byEdward Burne-Jones.

The Pre- Raphaelites  were no strangers to scandal and Millais painting of the Virgin Mary (Christ in the House of his Parents) in 1850 came in for severe criticism by the writer Charles Dickens;-

“According to Dickens, Millais made the Holy Family look like alcoholics and slum-dwellers, adopting contorted and absurd “medieval” poses’.”

Echo and Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Dickens of course had a lot to say about most things and for the most part said it well.  But here is an opportunity for you to have your say in my ‘What the Dickens?’ poetry challenge over on Bookstains – just click Dickens for details:-)


More about this Pre Raphaelite painting here  More on the Pre- Raphaelites here  Images;- Millais here  Holman Hunt here  Collinson image here Burne-Jones image here John William Waterhouse image from here – Thanks to all!