The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in London in 1848, as a secret society of young artists (and one writer), who were opposed to the Royal Academy’s promotion of the ideal as exemplified in the work of Raphael. They were also in revolt also against the triviality of the immensely popular genre painting of the time.
Inspired by the theories of John Ruskin, who urged artists to ‘go to nature’, they believed in an art of serious subjects treated with maximum realism. Their principal themes were initially religious, but they also used subjects from literature and poetry, particularly those dealing with love and death and explored modern social problems.
The principal members were William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. After initial heavy opposition the Pre-Raphaelites became highly influential, with a second phase of the movement from about 1860, inspired particularly by the work of Rossetti, making major contributions to symbolism.
To find books by or about the Pre-Raphaelites, do a local call number search using SPEC PRB.
Nicholas A. Salerno Literary Papers
The Nicholas A. Salerno Literary Papers contain a collection of research resources with a concentration on the Pre-Raphaelites and Victoriana era authors, artists and poets and on the publisher Thomas Bird Mosher. Included are: newspaper, journal and magazine articles; and handwritten notes. There are extensive files on Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Michael Rossetti.
The papers also document the research and pre-print correspondence for Salerno's unpublished books "Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Critical Heritage" and "Letters from William Michael Rossetti to William Bell Scott: An Annotated Edition." The latter project includes assignments from Salerno's ASU English 500 Research Methods classes in 1971 and 1987 with transcriptions of each letter with annotations.