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'Ophelia' by John Everett Millais, 1851–52. Oil on canvas. Image courtesy Tate Britain.

Love and Desire: Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from the Tate


Loans from the Tate Britain from their collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

In mid-19th century Britain, a group of rebellious young artists emulated the spirit of early Renaissance painting in protest against the art establishment of the era and society at large. Radically flaunting convention, these artists revelled in the use of brilliant colour, meticulous detail and exquisite layering. The Pre-Raphaelites drew inspiration from the great love stories of history and literature, the tempestuousness of lustful entanglements, and the wonder of religious icons. They created a new artistic genre, sometimes poetic and sexy and sometimes raw, that combined medieval romanticism with modern life to produce literary scenes, portraits and landscapes rich in symbolism.

Love and Desire features 50 of the Tate’s most famous and best-loved works, alongside 40 loans from British and Australian collections. With masterpieces such as John Everett Millais’ Ophelia 1851–52William Holman Hunt’s The Awakening conscience 1853 and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Aurelia (Fazio’s mistress) 1863-73.

When:From Friday 14 December 2018
Where:National Gallery of Australia

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