Must see: Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, Tate Britain, London SW
How Victorian rebels with a cause broke out from the past
Can the Pre-Raphaelites be claimed for modernity? Are they not irredeemably Victorian, tame and locked into their own historical moment?
This show tries to persuade us otherwise, arguing that Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais were rebels with a cause. Hating academic painting, they wanted to reach back to art-making that emphasised flat surfaces, sharp outlines, bright colours and truth to nature.
The style was to be hyper-realistic: the artists looked afresh at nature and painted in vivid colours that almost shriek at us, throwing off the grim murk of the average history painting. True, much of their moralism and symbolism seems of its time; so do Rossetti's patronising paintings of women.
In the last rooms of the show, though, as Pre-Raphaelitism starts to incline towards Symbolism and even Surrealism, we begin to see the past linking hands with all that would come after it.
(020 7887 8888; tate.org.uk) to 13 Jan
Arts & Ents blogs
Even though there was a complete absence of our favourite odd couple Brienne and Jaime, we got anoth...
If you had any doubt where Binky gets her brilliantly brassy disregard for social graces, episode se...
Kate Simko is a lady who has constantly worked towards to pushing herself musically. Though she make...
- 1 The ‘Beverly Hills’ of Surrey pays more income tax than big cities of the North
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 4 The moral case on tax avoidance is overwhelming - and we all know Google wants to do the right thing
- 5 Sam Wallace: The second coming of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will be a reunion that can only end in tears
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.