Pre-Raphaelites at the Tate Britain

-This exhibition is now closed-

Better late than never, I finally had the chance to visit the fantastic Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde exhibition at the Tate Britain, which opened in September and will close on 13 January.

The exhibition features beautiful paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and its contemporaries, highlights including Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Lady Lilith and John Everett Millais’s Ophelia.

It is clear that the Pre-Raphaelites were attempting something avant-garde and challenging. By embracing nature, realism and beauty, they rejected the urban materialism of the industrial revolution and the cold neo-classicism of their predecessors. This is most obvious in the section dedicated to furniture and decorative works influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters. The luxurious three-fold room screen by William Morris and Elizabeth Burden is the result of valuing intricate hand-craft over haughty design and mass-production.

The prestigious collection is testament to the success of a fascinating counter-culture movement, dedicated to self-expression against the cultural homogenisation of the Victorian industrial revolution.

The exhibition is open until 13 January.