Highlight the pre-Raphaelites and the criticisms thereof in the Art world?

Essay by abidbarmaUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, January 2004

download word file, 16 pages 4.4

Social and political turmoil enveloped England in the mid 19th century and was a result of the increasingly unstable state of Europe at the time, and of the increase in communication and awareness with and of other cultures. Technological advancements in industry and design bombarded the nation and the English reaction to these massive changes was a mixture of apprehensive enthusiasm and rejection thereof. The revolutions of 1848 impacted England greatly, although comparatively indirectly. The reign of Queen Victoria commenced in 1837 and this age, the Victorian age, became one of adamant historicism and revivalism. Socially, as a result of the consistently increasing industry at the time, the working class grew proportionally and members of the well-established elite became nervous. Developments in industrial design boosted the economy and the standard of living for many; the middle class emerged with great presence. The art of the mid 19th century is a reflection of the attitude of historicism and nationalism that was the inevitable offspring of the changing world.

Deeply rooted in tradition, and finding those traditions unstable, many advocated the need to return to architecture and art that was representative of a time of social stability. The Royal Academy in London had historically been the cornerstone of art as an institution in England. The artists who were invited or accepted to exhibit at this venue, were concretely cemented into a high standard of artistic ability and status. However, as early as the 1820's, art establishments began to provide alternative forums for exhibition for those rejected. The Art Union, as well as the Society of British Artists were these providers and because of this growth, these paintings were accessible to a greater public. The number of publications concerning art and exhibitions held, were thus augmented and journals such as the Art Union...