The Pre-Raphaelites - painters, poets, and sculptors - sought in their shared commitment to the close study of nature to counter what they believed was the Royal Academy`s slavish deference to the formalism typified by the late Renaissance masters who followed Raphael. They harked back to earlier Italian Renaissance painting and drew inspiration from Medieval culture. Their paintings, poetry and art criticism were a major - albeit contradictory - challenge to the conventions of mid-Victorian culture in a broad sense.
The aim of the course is to investigate the contribution of the Pre-Raphaelites who were very influential on the arts and crafts and aesthetic movements of the last third of the 19th century. Our major concern will be their redefinition of sensuality in the context of a seemingly bleak Victorian culture. Moreover, we will study a number of critical texts and poetry by writers, such as John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti and William Morris.