The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in London in 1848 by seven young artists dissatisfied with the standards prevailing in British art. Its three chief members were William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They advocated an art of extreme truth to nature, which they understood in different ways. They painted in bright, hard colours, with great attention to detail, and frequently chose high-minded, moralistic subjects, loaded with symbolism. They called themselves Pre-Raphaelites because they admired the 'primitive' artists of the Italian renaissance of the period before Raphael.
Although their first exhibited works, which included Millais' 'Isabella', were reviled, the group rapidly became influential. Young artists in provincial cities soon began to imitate them. Liverpool was no exception, establishing itself as a notable source of support in the mid-1850s when its Academy repeatedly awarded its annual prize to Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Room displays can change due to loans, conservation work and display renewal. If you intend to visit the Walker Art Gallery to see a particular artwork, please telephone 0151 478 4199 beforehand to check the artwork is on display.