Our venues

The Pre-Raphaelites

Men and women at a banquet

The Pre-Raphaelite paintings that can be seen at National Museums Liverpool venues are among the best in the world. Liverpool was the only provincial town to have its own school of Pre-Raphaelite artists (The Liverpool Academy|). Merchants and industrialists in the area often added Pre-Raphaelite pictures to their own collections and several of these have, over the years, found their way into public galleries.

The three members of the 'Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood' were John Millais|, William Holman Hunt |and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.| You find out more about them and their work on our featured artists page. |

In this special feature you can take a closer look at some of the works in our collections. Each painting is examined in detail, in particular looking at the following areas:

  • Subject matter - Pre-Raphaelite paintings are often about serious or religious subjects
  • Symbolism - many Pre-Raphaelite paintings contain visual symbols
  • Technique - Pre-Raphaelite painters often used bright, clear colours and small detailed brushwork with paint put onto a wet white 'ground'. Landscape painting was often done out-of-doors with and concerned with 'truth to nature'
  • Literary links - the painters' inspiration often came from literature.

New Pre-Raphaelite treasures book

Discover more about the Pre-Raphaelite treasures at National Museums Liverpool in our new book. Buy your copy from our online shop|.


Use our online gallery below to find out more about the Pre-Raphaelite painters and their work.

Further information