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What is: Pre-Raphaelitism?

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Rebels. Revolutionaries. Romantics. The Pre-Raphaelites wanted to create a new kind of art, fit for the purpose of a new world.

Their intention was to build on what they admired from the past, not just the Old Masters they were being taught about but a counter-culture of heroes. Their influences ranged from Quattrocento artists to the painters and writers of their own age.

Carol Jacobi talks us through the subject matter and techniques you could expect to see in a Pre-Raphaelite painting. Through forensic attention to detail -- both visual and psychological -- a Pre-Raphaelite painting invites you to question the world in which we live.

This film is part of Brian Clarke's curated series, 'Cruising Culture'. He described the film as follows:

"Carol Jacobi has an enjoyable grasp of narrative – she has the ability to read the whole movement through the Pre-Raphaelites attention to detail, to hands or flowers. In a short film, she succeeds in sketching out the key factors that you need to know if you are interested in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and its individual personalities. She reminds us that they were the first modern movement, and it's easy to forget that, to see them only as Victorian caricatures. But they were the first modern movement, the first gang of ruffians to bombast their way into society with their dangerous new ideas."


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Dr Carol Jacobi is Curator of British Art 1850-1915 at Tate Britain and also publishes and broadcasts on nineteenth and twentieth-century art. She has taught at Birkbeck College, the Courtauld Institute and elsewhere. Carol's research takes a social and cultural perspective and aims to challenge and widen canon, focussing on intersections of the arts, for example, and women artists. She has curated exhibitions on Pre-Raphaelite art, Victorian photography and the major exhibition *Van Gogh and Britain *at Tate. She has written especially about the Pre-Raphaelites, Alberto Giacometti, Isabel Rawsthorne, Francis Bacon and his circle.

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