Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, National Gallery of Art,
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900 is an exhibition that opens tomorrow, February 17, 2013, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

With over 130 objects — paintings, sculpture, works on paper and decorative art objects — mostly borrowed from the Tate Britain and the Birmingham Trust in the UK, along with three from the collection of the Delaware Art Museum, the show is still a somewhat scaled down version of Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant Garde, that was on display at the Tate last September (my post here).

The show, however, looks to be thick with gems. like William Holman Hunt’s Lady of Shalott (above, third down) and Isabella and the Pot of Basil (above, bottom).

The star painting is John Everett Millais’ Ophelia (above, top, with detail —see my post on Millais), one of the most famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and a rare chance to see it here in the U.S (large version on Google Art Project).

Unfortunately, the National Gallery is among those museums that have not figured out how to use their websites to advantage to generate interest in an exhibition by providing an online gallery of selections from the show. The Tate did a bit better, and you can supplement that with this article from the Washington Post.

There is a catalog of the exhibition, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, available on Amazon and the National Gallery of Art Shop.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design will be on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. until May 19, 2013.

7 thoughts on “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900

  1. Susanne E.

    I saw this exhibition on a visit to London last year, and to see these paintings in the original has been an awesome, eyeopening and surprising experiece. The detail and bright colors are intoxicating. The last painting in this post, Hunt’s “Isabella and the pot of Basil”, is a great example: here the picture appears rather dull and uninteresting, while the real thing is dancing with peach, lavender and turquoise colors and the light beam on the flowerpot is of an almost blinding brightness! A special treat was a small selection of delightful Rosetti watercolors. But there are also a lot of well-known favorites on display, like Millais Blind girl, Hunt’s Light of the world, Rosettis Mona Vanna. I recommend this exhibition to everyone, even if you are not a fan of Victorian art, go see the originals – it is so worth it!!!

  2. Charley Parker Post author

    Thanks, Susanne. I haven’t been able to see the show in person yet, but I have seen some of the pieces from it and I agree that they are more striking in person than images can convey.

  3. Susanne E.

    Well Washington is not that far away, is it? Maybe I am a bit crazy when it come to art, but whenever there is an important exhibition within a day-trip radius from my home, I go out of my way to see it. After all, each great painting really just exists once in the world, so it is an extraordiary thing (and so instructive) to be able to have many paintings of one artist or one artmovement together, being able to compare them and just to enjoy as well. Hope you can make it :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>