The essays by Edward Lucie-Smith and James Cahill explore the development of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in the mid 19th century: a flowering of new voices that produced works which figure amongst the most enduring and generally popular in British art. The eminent writer and critic, Edward Lucie-Smith contributes a study of the Brotherhood's formation by seven artists, their inter-connection and absorption by the establishment of the time; their effect on the French School, Symbolism, the Aesthetic Movement and ...
The essays by Edward Lucie-Smith and James Cahill explore the development of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in the mid 19th century: a flowering of new voices that produced works which figure amongst the most enduring and generally popular in British art. The eminent writer and critic, Edward Lucie-Smith contributes a study of the Brotherhood's formation by seven artists, their inter-connection and absorption by the establishment of the time; their effect on the French School, Symbolism, the Aesthetic Movement and Surrealism. James Cahill has a special interest in the movement, having studied Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. He reviews a major exhibition of 180 works at Tate Britain presented from September to January 2012-13.
Edward Lucie-Smith was born in 1933 at Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to Britain in 1946, and was educated at King's School, Canterbury and Merton College, Oxford, where he read History. Subsequently he was an Education Officer in the R.A.F., then worked in advertising for ten years before becoming a freelance author. He is now an internationally known art critic and historian, who is also a published poet (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize), an anthologist and a practicing photographer. He has published more than a hundred books in all, including a biography of Joan of Arc (recently republished by Penguin in paperback as a 'classic biography'), a historical novel, and more than sixty books about art, chiefly but not exclusively about contemporary work. A number of his art books, among them Movements in Art since 1945 , Visual Arts of the 20th Century, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Art Today are used as standard texts throughout the world. Movements in Art since 1945, first published in 1969, has been continuously in print since that date. He has been curator of a number of exhibitions, including three Peter Moores Projects at the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, (surveys of contemporary British art), The New British Painting (which toured US venues in 1988-90) and two artist retrospectives, Lin Emery and George Dunbar, both for the New Orleans Museum of Art. He has been a jury member for the John Moores prize exhibition in Liverpool, and for biennials in Cairo, Sharjah, Alexandria and Belgrade. He was curator of 'New British Art'. at the Orion Gallery in Ostend (April-June 2001), of 'New Classicism: Artists of the Ideal', at Palazzo Forti, Verona (April-September 2002), and of 'Gods Becoming Men' at the Frissiras Museum, Athens [July-September 2004). He has recently become the curator of the new Bermondsey Project Space in London S.E.1 James Cahill combines writing, research and painting with a role at one of Londons leading contemporary art galleries. He studied at the Courtauld Institute, where his research focused on British twentieth-century artists' explorations of crucifixion and obscenity. He is the co-author of a monograph on British artist Angus Fairhurst (2009), and has written catalogue essays for a number of contemporary art exhibitions, as well as reviews for various publications. He has lectured at the Architectural Association, London, on the paintings of Francis Bacon, and at Oxford University on Renaissance iconography in contemporary art. His current research looks at the afterlife of ancient Greece and Rome in contemporary visual culture.
Pre-Raphaelite art, despite Dante Gabriel Rossetti's best efforts to the contrary, is thought of as being essentially religious and moralistic, in away that completely cuts it off from anything be can identify as being identifiably 'modern' in spirit, or in any way a precursor of the kind of art we have now. There were, of course, some cracks in this façade of moral orthodoxy. For example, Millais' wife was Effie Gray, whose marriage to the critic John Ruskin had been annulled amid a considerable scandal; while Hunt's second marriage was to his deceased wife's sister, a union then illegal in Britain. Rossetti's amorous relationships, including his pursuit of Jane Morris, wife of William Morris, were of course notorious. Edward Lucie-Smith At the heart of much Pre-Raphaelite art was the idea of restoring to a clichéd subject or scene some of its 'original' force. A painting hung outside the exhibition in the style of a preface, Edward Burne-Jones's Tristram and Iseult (1872), reflects this intention to penetrate to the underlying truth. The incomplete work includes figures painted nude (with the unfulfilled intention of adding clothes later) to establish what Burne-Jones called the "bones" of the composition. Much the same practice is comically insisted upon by the portraitist John Roydon in Roald Dahl's short story Nunc Dimittis, who paints his female subjects nude before adding the clothes layer by layer, averring: "You examine any painting you like of a woman - I don't care who it's by - and you'll see that although the dress may be well painted, there is an effect of artificiality, of flatness about the whole thing, as though the dress were draped over a log of wood [...] That's why I insist on painting my subjects first of all in the nude." James Cahill
Pre-Raphaelites as Forefathers by Edward Lucie-Smith pp5-21 A Pre-Raphaelite Shrine; Vernon Lushington KC; Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rosetti; Julia Margaret Cameron; Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell; PRB-the first Modern Art movement; The Universal Expositions Paris; JM Whistler, Charles Baudelaire; Avenues of Reproduction; Symbolism and the Aesthetic Movement; legacy of the Pre-Raphaelites. Pre-Raphaelites An Atavistic Rebellion By James Cahill pp28-42 Victorian Avant-Garde; Political and spiritual wellsprings; Themes of the exhibition; naturalism and the archetype; destinies of the artists. Biographical Notes 43, 44