Press release from Nationalmuseum in Stockholm December 19th, 2008
In the coming spring, the National Museum in Stockholm will present an exhibition devoted to the pictorial world of the Pre-Raphaelites. This group of nineteenth-century English artists sought inspiration in mediaeval art. Their style is characterized by a conscious striving for beauty, existential themes and moral seriousness.
Everyone recognizes their style. It is part of our common consciousness even though we may not know the names of the individual artists. The Pre-Raphaelites were a group or “brotherhood” of English artists formed in the middle of the 19th century. They were united by an interest in art produced prior to Raphael, the 16th century Italian master; hence their name. They found their inspiration in mediaeval and early Renaissance art with its bright colours and clear outlines. The figures in their paintings – often women – give expression to intense feelings such as yearning, passion or grief. Thanks to generous loans from leading museums, primarily in the UK, the Nationalmuseum is able to bring this pictorial world to a new public. This will be the first major exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite art to be shown in Scandinavia. In spite of being some 150 years old, the themes and style of Pre-Raphaelite art remain very much alive, still retaining a capacity to move the modern beholder. Obvious references to Pre-Raphaelite imagery can be found in our own visual culture in late 20th century films, advertising and fashion. The exhibition comprises some two hundred evocative works: paintings, photographs, fabrics, glass paintings and other items from this golden age of English art. The exhibition will run from 26th February to 24th May 2009.