Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882)
The group of painters called Pre-Raphaelites -Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – was founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Soon other painters joined ( si unirono) the group . They were William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner . Their main idea was to reject (rifiutare) the academic teaching of art and took as their model the compositions of art before and during Raphael.
Their paintings were rich with detail, intense colours, and complex compositions like the Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art (arte Fiamminga).
The Brotherhood – which officially lasted (durò) only one year – is now seen as the first avant-garde movement in art. Even though they dealt with history and mythological themes – King Arthur’ cycle, subjects taken from the Bible, from Shakespeare’s plays and tragedies and from Dante’s Divina Commedia – they were reformers and published a periodical, The Germ, to promote (far conoscere) their ideas.
The newspapers of the period often made fun (si presero gioco) of their ideas and their initials – PRB – were translated as Please Ring the Bell (per favore suonare il campanello)or Penis Rather Better (non traduco!).
Flaming June by Frederick Leighton (1830-1896)