Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Art Nouveau: Pre-Raphaelite Influences

I thought I'd spend some time gathering some referenced for the movement as it had a strong affinity with Art Nouveau, I feel it could help me in regards to the females that can be found in both movements, such as there poses, subject matter and most importantly compositions in their subjective pieces.

Pre-Raphaelite's had a penchant for painitng about powerful idea's, seeking to escape the confusing world around them, by turning to history, legend, myth and the constructions of women who inspired such an age.
Frequently they were quite literal about their symbolisim. Less frequently, and arguably more powerful they were subtly in their approach to symbolism, merely whispering that 'somthing important had happened to the figure in the painting.
Essential to the Pre-Raphaelite art is a woman's face, a beautiful visage with large, luminescent eyes set in a web of long hair. Powerful bodies, necks, or striking features usually make the "stunner," each of these women's expressions embody enigma and distance; oftentimes, their poses remain static versus active. Strange that these unearthly alluring women should sit so silently when their images literally infect the Pre-Raphaelites' body of work. Their likelinesses appear in poetry and their very faces stare out of numberless canvases. The voices and meaningful looks of these women, however, are actually the filtered versions of the men who adored and depicted them.

Their names ring familiar, the famous women who modelled for and who associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in marriage, affairs, and artistic endeavors. Agreeing to model for an artist already contained some risk to body and reputation, but to also shoulder expectations of some of these men's ideals of femme fatale, victim, or saint both in art and in life proved to be most hazardous. In art and in life, some of the Pre-Raphaelite women felt the pressure to abandon humanity to become an archetype. They were dreams coming to life in paints, and it was this living dream which the artists could not help but fall in love with.

Some of the artists associated and apart of the 'Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood':

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
John William Waterhouse
John Collier
Sir John Everett Millais

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