Exhibition | Medieval Moderns: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood | National Gallery of Victoria

Edward BURNE-JONES The garden of Pan (1886-1887)  oil on canvas 152.5 x 186.9 cm National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1919 961-3

The garden of Pan (1886-1887)
oil on canvas
152.5 x 186.9 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1919

An exhibition, which opens this weekend at the NGV International, will focus on the NGV’s impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art.

Opening weekend talks

On Sunday 12th April there will be two free introductory talks to the new exhibition

2pm Explore the role of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, their place in the development of the illustrated book and their profound influence on later generations of artists with International Art Curator, Laurie Benson.

Speaker Laurie Benson, Curator, International Art

3pm Capturing a sitter’s likeness was not central to the portraits by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Join Emily Wubben, University of Melbourne, as she explores Burne-Jones’ portrait of Baronne Madeleine Deslandes and provides fresh insights into the sitter.

Speaker Emily Wubben, Scholar, University of Melbourne
Free Entry. Bookings not required. Meet in exhibition space. More details here.

About the Exhibition

In 1848 seven disenchanted young artists in London formed an avant-garde art group named the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which rejected the prevailing conventions of the art establishment and aimed to actively change the direction of British art. Rebuffing contrived beauty and the notion of the ideal as defined by Classical and High Renaissance art and prescribed by the Royal Academy, the group sought to shock viewers by depicting the raw beauty seen in the world around them. The Brotherhood quickly became the most dynamic and influential art group working in Britain and profoundly influenced future generations of artists.

Medieval Moderns includes more than 100 paintings, prints, decorative arts, furniture, book designs and stained-glass windows by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their followers. The exhibition also reflects the role of the group in the arts and crafts movement in Britain; their integral place in the development of the illustrated book; and their impact upon artists including Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

Highlights include luminous works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Robert Hughes, Morris & Co. textiles and The Importunate Neighbour by William Holman Hunt, which was acquired in 1905 by former NGV director Lindsay Bernard Hall after protracted negotiations with the artist. Medieval Moderns also presents a portrait of the exotic and mysterious Baronne Deslandes by Edward Burne-Jones, an exquisite stained-glass window designed by Burne-Jones (many other examples of which can be found in churches around Melbourne and Adelaide) and a posthumous portrait of an Australian boy by John Everett Millais.

Alongside these works are photographs including the beautiful imagery of Julia Margaret Cameron and her contemporaries. Working at the same time as the Pre-Raphaelites, pioneering and skilled photographers, such as Cameron, created stylish portraits and atmospheric landscapes which shared the formal language of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Exhibition dates: April 11th until 12th July 2015.

National Gallery of Victoria International, Open 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays. Free entry.