James Whistler: “I am an artist and“ born ”in Petersburg”
James Whistler, an Anglo-American artist, was born July 11, 1834 in Lowell, the industrial city of the United States. Staying in Russia largely affected the formation of his talent. Whistler…

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Artists of besieged Leningrad
In the city on the Neva, in the House of Artists, in front of the entrance to the exhibition halls hangs a large marble plaque. On it are carved the…

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Artwork India
The creation of artistically designed household items is one of the oldest art forms in India. Its impact is mighty, because it brings a person a great aesthetic joy, it…

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Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

For a proper understanding of the pre-Raphaelite movement, it is necessary to identify the difference between its individual stages, which stretched over several decades. It should be noted that many foreign historians and critics of art are silently ignoring or deliberately distorting its progressive line, trying to limit the rebelliousness of the Pre-Raphaelites to a purely artistic field.

In September 1848, seven young men, students of the school of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in London, formed a “Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood” with the goal of making a revolution in English art. It included the sculptor Thomas Wulner, artists – James Collinson, John Everett Milles, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his brother William Michael Rossetti, Frederick Stephens and William Holman Hunt. They were all young, from nineteen to twenty-one. Artists, in fact, could be called only three: the youngest – Milles, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Holman Hunt.

It was not for nothing that the brotherhood arose in England, the most industrialized country, which overtook other European countries. The struggle with the power of capital turned out to be especially difficult and acute. It was led by the “first workers’ political party” —the Chartists, to which the petty bourgeoisie joined. Chartism arose in the mid-1830s and reached its apogee by 1848 due to the economic crisis and the general revolutionary situation in Europe. These sentiments captured and youth. It should be taken into account, for example, that such Pre-Raphaelite artists, like the Rossetti brothers, belonged to the family of a prominent Italian political émigré, where revolutionaries-Italians were constantly hiding in London. Hunt and Milles themselves directly participated in the Chartist movement, including the major intervention of the Chartists on April 10, 1848. It was brutally suppressed, which was the beginning of the recession of the revolutionary wave.

In the next quarter of a century, the world domination of capitalist England is becoming stronger. It establishes an even more merciless reaction, which determined the short duration of the first most progressive stage of pre-Raphaelitism and the subsequent confusion of its participants.

In the middle of the century, triumphant philistinism prevailed in English art. The artists lost the achievements of the great painters of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The constable died in 1837, and Turner lived out his last years as a recluse. Self-satisfied rich people preferred to buy sugary and respectable ceremonial paintings. Artists were doomed to beg or adapt to the vulgar demands of buyers. This kind of wingless naturalism in England was called “realism.” It was precisely against the cognitive approach to visual production — it was difficult even to call it art — and the Pre-Raphaelite revolt was directed.

The name of the brotherhood itself seemed to imply the recognition of the art of the predecessors of Raphael and the denial of himself. But it is not. The picturesque achievements of the great master were reduced by the followers to the finished recipe. Rafael was unwittingly responsible for the work of later imitators, whose “high style” was distinguished by its mannerism and lack of truth in life.

The Pre-Raphaelite movement began small: the friendship of several young people united in their desire to break free from the stifling atmosphere of the wretched philistine art of the reign of Queen Victoria and the rule of successful capitalists.

Pre-Raphaelitism was a manifestation of a process that affected not only English, but also all European painting. The classical academic tradition collapsed. The new was in the pursuit of sincerity and truth. Struggling for the truth of the senses, the Pre-Raphaelites sought its direct expression not in pathetic theatrical poses, but in restrained, but uniquely individual gestures, spied upon in reality. Denying the blackness of color “under the old masters” and the generalization of the details of the academic school, they tried with equal care to write out the smallest details of the foreground and the most distant objects, not fearing the brightness of colors and not really worrying about their harmonious combination.

"Denial of confession" by Ilya Repin
Vasily Ivanovich Surikov is a great Russian historical painter, but all he has to say about him is not enough: the national genius embodied in the art of Surikov. The…

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Antoine Bourdelle and Aristide Maillol - antiquity in the works
Antoine Bourdelle and Aristide Mayol. What binds them? That they were born in the same year - 1861st? That both are French? Or that they are outstanding sculptors and are…

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Luca della Robbia - devotional service to art
The whole long life of Luke della Robbia was dedicated to serving the arts. The sculptor was born in Florence in 1399 or 1400. He made many works that rightfully…

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Egyptian ostracon drawings
In the art of ancient Egypt there are monuments that make up a special group. These are works of graphics - drawings on the boards. The Greek word "ostracon" literally…

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