The Easel

The Secret Society of Rebellious Artists Behind a Dreamy, Hyper-Romantic Movement

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is not to everyone’s taste. These artists wanted to overturn Victorian England’s stodgy art with an aesthetic that emphasized colour and idealized the past. They, and their swooning damsels, now look anachronistic but they were a small step toward modernism. And they have, as one critic observes, “an armour-plated niche in the English imagination”.