Neo-Pre-Raphaelitism: The Final Generations
Waterman, Amanda B.
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The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of seven young men who wanted to rebel against the teachings and orthodoxies of the Royal Academy. It was a short-lived movement, beginning in 1848 and ending in the early 1850s, but this dissertation will argue that their influence lived on and inspired a group of artists who were working at the turn of the century and well into the twentieth-century. This dissertation is unprecedented; it is the first publication which aims to specifically categorize certain artists whose oeuvres are indebted to various generations of Pre-Raphaelitism. In short, I am characterizing these artists and thereby dubbing them “Neo-Pre-Raphaelite,” channeling an early twentieth-century description of some of these artists. The most obvious reason to refer to them by this term is that they are stylistically and/or thematically linked to members of the original PRB or later generations / manifestations of Pre-Raphaelitism. The individuals on whom I am focusing are all British and produced Pre-Raphaelite inspired work from roughly 1895-1950. Consequently, the parameters within which I am working are threefold; firstly, the artists were exhibiting in the late 1880s/1890 – 1920 (a Neo-Pre-Raphaelite period that overlapped for most of them); secondly, those whose work echoed that of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; and thirdly, persons having a working relationship with Edwin Austin Abbey—an American artist who was in a unique position to be a hybrid between the earlier PRB and these younger artists. Accordingly, the investigated artists are: Frank Cadogan Cowper, John Liston Byam Shaw, Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, John William Waterhouse, and Thomas Cowper Gotch. There is an additional investigation that establishes a Neo-Pre-Raphaelite classification which could exist outside of Abbey. This alternate combination was directly connected to Pre-Raphaelitism through Edward Burne-Jones, and demonstrated a visual indebtedness to both the Pre-Raphaelites and the artist—these devotees applied the unique Burne-Jonesian style to favorite subjects of the PRB. For the purposes of this dissertation, this supplementary circle has been termed “outliers”—in that they met the same aforementioned criteria but did not share an alliance with Abbey—including: Marie Spartali Stillman, Kate Bunce, Evelyn Pickering de Morgan, Sidney Meteyard, and John Melhuish Strudwick.
- Fine arts