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What does pre-raphaelite mean?

Updated: 8/19/2023
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11y ago

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'Before Raphael'. The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of British artists in the 1850's. They believed that the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael in particular had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art. Hence the name "Pre-Raphaelite"

The group had nothing against Raphael as such. They thought he was a genius. But they were against the teaching of structured painting that had developed in the art establishment based on his work, such as triangular compositions which had almost turned art into an exercise in geometry, and the PRB considered it corrupting the Royal Academy and art in general.

The 'ite' in the term Pre-Raphaelite is important. It shows that it was not Raphael that they disliked, but his followers/imitators.

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11y ago
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11y ago

It refers to the group of artists in Victorian England that believed that art,

starting from the time of Raphael, became overly-structured and less natural,

preferring the more realistic styles that came before… so the artists' work

was called PRE-Raphaelite art.

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