Room six

Pre-Raphaelite paintings

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood| was formed in London in 1848 by seven young artists dissatisfied with the standards prevailing in British art. Its three chief members were William Holman Hunt|, John Everett Millais| and Dante Gabriel Rossetti|. They advocated an art of extreme truth to nature, which they understood in different ways. They painted in bright, hard colours, with great attention to detail, and frequently chose high-minded, moralistic subjects, loaded with symbolism. They called themselves Pre-Raphaelites because they admired the 'primitive' artists of the Italian renaissance of the period before Raphael.

Although their first exhibited works, which included Millais' 'Isabella|', were reviled, the group rapidly became influential. Young artists in provincial cities soon began to imitate them. Liverpool was no exception, establishing itself as a notable source of support in the mid-1850s when its Academy repeatedly awarded its annual prize to Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Room highlights include:

Room displays can change due to loans, conservation work and display renewal. If you intend to visit the Walker Art Gallery to see a particular artwork, please telephone 0151 478 4199 beforehand to check the artwork is on display.