Continuing our exploration of the Walker Art Gallery’s treasures, Room 6 hosts one of the world’s best collections of Pre-Raphaelite art, including paintings by Rossetti, Millais and Holman Hunt, the radicals who changed art in the 19th century.
William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were the three leading members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848. As the name implies, the group opposed the influence of Raphael (as well as Sir Joshua Reynolds) on the contemporary academic teaching of art, instead pursuing the idea of ‘truth to nature’, exemplified by bright colours, attention to detail and traditional themes.
Despite widespread initial condemnation, the group rapidly became influential and gained significant support in Liverpool during the mid-1850s. The Liverpool Academy repeatedly awarded its annual prize to Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and the artists’ works were bought by many of the city’s leading merchants and industrialists.
Known as ‘the National Gallery of the North’, the Walker Art Gallery is among the finest art galleries in Europe, and is also home to the UK’s leading painting competition – the John Moores painting prize. Our firm is proud to be associated with this jewel in the city’s cultural crown, and feel extremely lucky to have world-leading collections like The Pre-Raphaelites just a stone’s throw away!