Pre-Raphaelite Art in the Victoria and Albert Museum

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Harry N. Abrams, Nov 1, 2003 - Architecture - 176 pages
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The Pre-Raphaelites were revolutionary designers and thinkers as well as painters and poets. Their history is intertwined with the development of the V & A Museum: its Green Dining Room was designed and decorated by Morris, Burne-Jones and Philip Webb, and its collections are full of their works, from painted furniture to textiles and tiles. Suzanne Fagence Cooper explores these collections to present a fresh view of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement. She shows how the decorative arts were just as important as oil paintings in developing the distinctive Pre-Raphaelite style. Rossetti's designs for stained glass, Millais's book illustrations, and Burne-Jones's painted pianos all show the artists moving easily from one medium to the next. Furthermore, these designs could reach a far wider audience than oil paintings and watercolours, which were often accessible only to a handful of private patrons. This book also uncovers links between the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the avant-garde Aesthetic movement of the 1870s, by focusing on shared themes ranging from the 'fallen woman' to the romance of the Arthurian legends. In doing so, it unravels an alternative history of the Pre-Raphaelites -- one that encourages us to open our eyes to the unexpected enthusiasms of the men and women who challenged the Victorian establishment. Book jacket.

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The PreRaphaelite Brotherhood
The Next Generation
Towards Aestheticism

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About the author (2003)

Cooper is the High Wycombe Research Fellow at the V&A Museum.

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