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Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

In the November 22 issue, Julian Bell writes, “The curators of “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde,” Tate Britain’s new survey of the phenomenon, face a daunting challenge of organization. This they resolve magnificently. The exhibition is not only compendious, bringing together almost every major innovative painting of mid-nineteenth-century Britain along with work in a host of other media. It is provocative. It throws aside hackneyed approaches to an often derided phase of cultural history and comes up with something fresh. Recasting the group as an “avant-garde” turns out to make very good sense. At the same time, in saluting the Pre-Raphaelites’ investment in modern tendencies, the show returns us to their ongoing angularity. For somehow, the works of Hunt and his associates still have it in them to make viewers wince.”

The Tate Britain is open Monday-Thursday and Sunday from 10 AM-6PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM-10 PM. For more information, please visit tate.org.uk. This exhibition will travel to the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., February 17–May 19, 2013; and the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, June 10–September 30, 2013.

Ford Madox Brown: ‘Take Your Son, Sir,’ 1851–1857

Tate Britain
London, England