The New Student's Reference Work/Pre-Raphaelitism
Pre-Raph′aelitism, a term used by Holman Hunt, J. E. Millais and W. M. Rossetti, three English painters of the 19th century, to denote their predilection for the great masters before the time of Raphael, who studied nature rather than technical rules and dogmas. The three representatives of the pre-Raphaelite school appeared in the exhibition-season of 1849, Millais with Lorenzo and Isabella, Hunt with Rienzi and Rossetti with The Girlhood of the Virgin, and excited the most flattering attention; but numerous critics and enemies arose, and in the third year of its existence the new school was threatened on all hands with the most powerful opposition. Happily, however, there appeared in the London Times three letters from Ruskin, denouncing the spirit of jealousy and injustice with which the young men had been assailed and pointing out the merits of their works and the great influence for good which the revival of their principles was likely to have. There followed later a succession of pictures from the three artists, whose titles have become as familiar as household-words. See Hunt, Millais and Rossetti.