Definition of Pre-Raphaelite in English:



  • A member of a group of English 19th-century artists, including Holman Hunt, Millais, and D. G. Rossetti, who consciously sought to emulate the simplicity and sincerity of the work of Italian artists from before the time of Raphael.

    • ‘In Europe, a group of artists known as the Pre-Raphaelites revived old techniques of flame making and ornamentation.’
    • ‘Artists practising in both the minute style of the Pre-Raphaelites and the broader modes of Impressionism found support in photography.’
    • ‘Many of the exhibiting societies favoured by the Pre-Raphaelites, such as the Hogarth Club, had architect as well as artist members and they exhibited side-by-side.’
    • ‘Somehow art - both ancient and modern - often seems to be intimately concerned with memory, perhaps none more so than the art of the Pre-Raphaelites.’
    • ‘The Pre-Raphaelites were artists who strove for realism.’
    • ‘It appears that Bancroft was modeling his collection on those assembled by the English patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites.’
    • ‘This is what the Pre-Raphaelites are really doing in various degrees, but especially Hunt, who takes higher ground than mere morality, and most manfully advocates its power and duty as an exponent of the higher duties of religion.’
    • ‘This autumn sees the publication of a wealth of books on the Pre-Raphaelites and their world, shedding new light on lesser-known figures and on rich collections of their work in this country.’
    • ‘The Pre-Raphaelites, on the other hand, painted sharply focused pictures with virtually no atmosphere at all.’
    • ‘There is (after an absence) a room dedicated to the Pre-Raphaelites.’
    • ‘Even the Pre-Raphaelites and their models are familiar territory now.’
    • ‘Some students have suggested that the Pre-Raphaelites might have been influenced by this picture.’
    • ‘Having no followers of his own he was near forgotten by the time of his death in 1510 and he remained so for almost four hundred years until being ‘rediscovered’ by Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites.’
    • ‘Bancroft, on the other hand, immersed himself in the study of the Pre-Raphaelites, going so far as to seek out living members associated with the group.’
    • ‘Her figures of women have a dreamlike quality that is reminiscent of the Italian painter and of her contemporaries, the Pre-Raphaelites.’
    • ‘When we read about how the Pre-Raphaelites, fired up by their principles, sat for weeks on end in the English countryside painting each leaf direct from nature, we smile in admiration or perhaps in exasperation.’
    • ‘As with the greatest of the Pre-Raphaelites, however, the manic minute nature of this type of lyricism takes its toll over the length of the two discs.’
    • ‘The study, Head of a Boy, was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites whom his father (one of his tutors at the School of Art) admired.’
    • ‘This isn't an exhibition which will convert the visitor if they can't stand the Pre-Raphaelites - it's not that kind of show.’

Seven young English artists and writers founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 as a reaction against the slick sentimentality and academic convention of much Victorian art. Their work is characterized by strong line and colour, naturalistic detail, and often biblical or literary subjects. The group began to disperse in the 1850s, and the term became applied to the rather different later work of Rossetti, and that of Burne-Jones and William Morris, in which a romantic and decorative depiction of classical and medieval themes had come to predominate


  • 1Relating to the Pre-Raphaelites.

    • ‘But it already revealed that he was a follower of Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelite style of landscape.’
    • ‘As the nineteenth century progressed, English and American artists were drawn to the enormously influential theories of John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelite painters, who favored minutely detailed landscapes.’
    • ‘This stunning Victorian building is home to the world's largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, an outstanding collection of glass and ceramics and the superb Edwardian Tea Room.’
    • ‘Works on paper are the great joy of this distinguished group, part of one of the most important but least known of all private collections of Pre-Raphaelite art.’
    • ‘What was the relationship between photography and Pre-Raphaelite art?’
    • ‘The exhibition presents 70 paintings and works on paper that address the themes, history and influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.’
    • ‘If the exhibition had been put on in Britain or America the importance of Florence as a factor in the evolution of the Pre-Raphaelite movement would probably have been more thoroughly explored.’
    • ‘He did, however, allocate a considerable portion of his resources to the acquisition of British nineteenth-century and Pre-Raphaelite art, which he collected steadily from 1909 to 1941.’
    • ‘In the early 1860s Wheeler took art lessons from the Pre-Raphaelite painter George Henry Hall.’
    • ‘However, Love's Greeting was the only major Pre-Raphaelite work of art to enter her collection.’
    • ‘Taking a different tack, Pre-Raphaelite artists sought to combine religious aims with an objective scientific method.’
    • ‘Paintings like this brought Richards rapid recognition as the most radical of the American Pre-Raphaelite landscape painters.’
    • ‘The conjunction of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and the new treatment of light by J. M. W. Turner marked the great turning point in the history of Western art.’
    • ‘Despite the lapse of time, it was the visit to Turner's house that lay behind Bancroft's first significant Pre-Raphaelite purchase.’
    • ‘On a wall hangs a Pre-Raphaelite image which turns out to be a portrait of his daughter Antonia.’
    • ‘In contrast, Ruth Tomlinson's delicate earrings, necklaces and rings are inspired by the past and reflect the creator's interest in history, in particular the Pre-Raphaelite period and ancient archaeological finds.’
    • ‘The divorce forced him to sell a collection of American Pre-Raphaelite paintings he had spent 15 years amassing, a bitter pill that many might have had trouble swallowing.’
    • ‘It was a decade before Bancroft purchased an actual Pre-Raphaelite painting, but there is evidence that his interest in British art persisted.’
    • ‘Bancroft did not own a work by Whistler, nor did Freer have any Pre-Raphaelite paintings.’
    1. 1.1(especially of a woman) reminiscent of a Pre-Raphaelite painting, typically in having long, thick, wavy auburn hair, pale skin, and a fey demeanour.
      • ‘No knights in shining armour, medieval trappings or masses of red hair are necessary for Knightly to express a Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic.’
      • ‘Off court, hair down, they are Pre-Raphaelite beauties.’
      • ‘As a painter he worked mainly in water-colour; his subjects were often in a romantic Pre-Raphaelite vein.’
      • ‘She would have made a superb Pre-Raphaelite model, Agatha thought, if only she could be persuaded to make the best of herself.’
      • ‘We solved the problem by keeping the story in the 15th century but with a very Pre-Raphaelite look.’
      • ‘Like the tresses of some Pre-Raphaelite Madonna, her abundant red hair cascades down a corrugated length of bark.’
      • ‘Nevertheless his responses to the war were also encoded in his remarkable Pre-Raphaelite style landscapes.’
      • ‘I became aware that I have both a Hollywood biblical epic version and a Pre-Raphaelite version of Ruth in my mind's eye.’
      • ‘However, when he was in his twenties he met Margaret Howard and was captivated by her stunning Pre-Raphaelite good looks and strong character.’
      • ‘A bus pulls up in the busy centre of Edinburgh and disgorges its passengers, including Faith, a tiny Pre-Raphaelite beauty.’