Pre Raphaelite Paintings

Have you ever wondered what motivated the Pre Raphaelite painters in the Pre Raphaelite art era? Here are some ideas to help you understand who these painters were and what they stood for. Beyond that, what some of their paintings were to transpire to its observers.



If you're not quite familiar with the Pre Raphaelite art era, it was the era between 1847- 1850. It was a very short time for this art era but the art was unique to its time and still very unique and cherished today. It is a fascinating type of art and knowing the story behind the Pre Raphaelite painters explains their art.



Pre Raphaelite art was a movement that was started by a group of seven British artists. They were disappointed in the English art of their times and didn't want to conform to the usual styles and techniques of the day. Their paintings seemed to glow because of the techniques they used. Their techniques made the paintings look real and unique. These men were radicals of their time.



Their paintings were inspired by poems, the Bible and issues of their times. They painted scenes from Shakespeare and nature as well. There were stories behind most of the paintings, some very heart breaking ones. By knowing the stories behind these paintings, it's so much easier to see for yourself what the Pre Raphaelite painters were thinking about.



In most paintings, the Pre Raphaelite painters used models, who would model for hours while being painted. In one particular painting, "Ophelia" which was painted by Sir Everett Millais, the model was floating in a stream surrounded by beautiful greenery. It has been said that for this painting, the artist used a tub for the model to get the affect that he wanted. This tub had candles underneath that kept the water like bath water. At one sitting the candles went out and the water became so cold that some have said it ruined the models already debilitating health.





Isabella and the Pot of Basil


One of my very favorite paintings is called "Isabella and the Pot of Basil". This was painted by William Holman Hunt. There is so much detail in the paintings of this time and they are in no way simple paintings with simple themes. This particular painting has a very interesting story. The painting was derived from the poem, Isabella or the pot of basil" by John Keats. It was a hopeless love affair gone badly. Isabella and Lorenzo fell in love. Isabella had two brothers who found out about the affair as they wanted her to marry someone with more money then Lorenzo. They murdered her lover, who was working for them. Isabella buried her lover's skull in a pot of basil. The painting shows Isabella with her arm around the pot of basil, as her hair lay across the soil. There are skulls on the side of the pot as well.

If you like the type of art that is very eccentric, you will like the art of Pre Raphaelite painters. They were very unique to their time but so much more appreciated in our time.