The Archaic Inspirations of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in September of 1848 in England by a group of young art students and intellectuals. They called themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to express their solidarity against the British Royal Academy tradition. They believed that after Raphael, art had become mannered and insincere. They claimed that they sought to return to the honest, natural style of the early Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century. However, many have pointed out that that the art of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood resembles early Italian Renaissance art “only in limited ways.”1
The Pre-Raphaelites rejected or de-emphasized many of the pictorial innovations that preoccupied early Italian artists such as Tommaso Guidi, known as Masaccio,2 including linear and atmospheric perspective and chiaroscuro, and disregarded two of the main goals of Renaissance art: unity and idealism. The main characteristics of the Pre-Raphaelite movement include the use of oil paint in an archaic process, a minute attention to detail, a “photographic” approach to documenting the world, a focus on segmentation rather than unity, the use of brilliant hues in startling relationships, and the use of disguised rather than overt symbolism. The Pre-Raphaelites share these characteristics with the art of the Northern Renaissance, including Jan van Eyck and Hans Holbein. Whereas Italian Renaissance art arose from the rediscovery of Classical antiquity, which focused on elegant simplicity and the rational design of space, Northern Renaissance art grew out of a decorative art tradition, including stained glass windows and manuscript illuminations, that emphasized brilliant color, microscopic detail, and completely filled space.3
The Pre-Raphaelites, like other primitivist art movements, were attracted to the “idea” of the early Italian Renaissance as a time of simpler, truer art, and this image rather than any specific visual effect or style was what inspired them in early Italian art. In contrast, the Pre-Raphaelites were directly influenced by the Northern Renaissance: there are many similarities in the techniques, visual style, and pictorial goals of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Northern Renaissance art tradition. In their name and their writings, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood emphasized their roots in early Italian Renaissance painting; however, the actual appearance of their art was more strongly influenced by the style of early Northern art than the Italian primitives.
By their own accounts, the young artists were inspired by Carlo Lasinio's book of engravings of the fifteenth century Italian frescoes at the Campo Santo at Pisa, painted by Francesco Traini [fig. 1].4 In his important two-volume work Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, William Holman Hunt states that "the innocent spirit which had directed the invention of the painter [Traini] was traced point by point with emulation by each of us... with the determination that a kindred simplicity should regulate our own ambition."5 This shows that the Pre-Raphaelites were inspired by the spirit behind the work, rather than the literal style of the work. According to Elizabeth Prettejohn, the traditional narrative of the foundation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is a partially invented origin myth promulgated by William Holman Hunt and the other Pre-Raphaelites after they became a successful art movement, because Holman Hunt could not possibly remember the dialogues he includes in his book so exactly.6 The Pre-Raphaelites wanted to establish a connection between their art and early Italian Renaissance art.
The original Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had only three active, skilled painters: William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They quickly parted ways stylistically and pursued their individual goals, but for the brief period of collaboration in which they each signed their works with the initials “PRB” to indicate their shared objectives, their visual styles were remarkably similar. They reinforced this similarity by working closely together and critiquing each other's work.7 Hunt preferred heavy religious art, and of the three men he was the most uncompromising and sustained follower of the principles of the Brotherhood. Millais painted more sentimental subjects, and his natural style was looser and more expressionistic than the Pre-Raphaelite style. Rossetti had the least training of the three, and because of this his work is the most idiosyncratic and he shows less influence from outside sources than Hunt or Millais.8 The other founding members of the Brotherhood were art student F.G. Stephens, painter James Collinson, the sculptor Thomas Woolner, and Rossetti's younger brother William Michael Rossetti, a non-artist who chronicled the group's history and goals.9 The older artist Ford Madox Brown was associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, although he never became an official member. Brown may have had the most exposure to Northern Renaissance art, because he studied in Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp, and he may have introduced early Flemish painting to the younger artists.10
Over time, the Pre-Raphaelites began de-emphasizing their archaic inspirations, both Italian and Northern, and focusing instead on their adherence to the critic John Ruskin's principle of "truth to Nature." This change draws attention to their innovating rather than their archaizing tendencies, which may have been in answer to the critics. In 1850, after a couple of years of relative temperance, art critics suddenly became violently hostile to the Pre-Raphaelite painters as they realized that the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a relatively organized group. The main focus of their ire was the movement’s revivalism; they claimed that the Pre-Raphaelites not only repeated the faults of their early inspirations, but surpassed them.11 The Pre-Raphaelites saw revivalism and naturalism as intertwined, because they associated early Renaissance art with greater truth to nature than mannered post-Raphael art.12
The critics' hostility led the Pre-Raphaelites to begin stressing their observation of nature over their early influences. In a letter to The Times, Ruskin denied any specific archaic influences on the Pre-Raphaelites, who “intend to return to early days in this one point only- [that they will draw what they see] irrespective of any conventional rules of picture-making; and they have chosen their unfortunate though not inaccurate name because all artists did this before Raphael’s time.”13 This change in the discourse about the Pre-Raphaelites effectively silenced the resentment of the critics after 1851; in 1852, a critic for Fraser's Magazine referred to the tumult over the Pre-Raphaelites as a "thing of the past" and spoke of them in exclusively naturalistic terms.14
Although they denied their archaic sources, the Pre-Raphaelites were influenced by both the early Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance. The Pre-Raphaelites had the opportunity to view many examples of both Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings, because these works were just coming into fashion in England in the 1840s. Lasinio's engravings were housed in the Print Room at the British Museum, while other Italian and Northern works were displayed in the Old Masters exhibit at the British Institution in 1848.15 It is unclear whether the Pre-Raphaelites attended this exhibition, because none of the available sources mention it.16 The Pre-Raphaelites saw Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait, on display in Trafalgar Square at the National Gallery [fig. 2]. They repeated van Eyck's distinctive convex mirror with roundels in several of their works, including Hunt's Lady of Shalott and Brown's unfinished Take Your Son, Sir [fig. 3-4].17 Raymond Watkinson states that aside from engravings, the Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery was the only early Flemish work that Hunt and Rossetti had seen before their trip to Europe, but this would be sufficient to acquaint them with van Eyck’s style.18 The Pre-Raphaelites also had the opportunity to view the works of both Italian and Northern masters through photographs. Rossetti had an extensive collection of photographs of the Old Masters, including Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, and Dürer.19
The Pre-Raphaelites also traveled in Europe, coming into contact with many fifteenth century works. In the mid- 1840s, Brown traveled to Basle, where he “spent as much time as he could studying the paintings by Holbein.”20 In 1849, Hunt and Rossetti traveled to Paris, Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent and had the chance to see many Flemish masters. They stated their admiration for van Eyck and Hans Memling in several writings. During their trip to Paris, Rossetti rhapsodized about “a tremendous Van Eyck” he had seen at the Louvre, along with works by Fra Angelico, Mantegna, and Titian.21 Hunt was less overawed, but Rossetti was impressed by what he saw in Belgium: “the best of all are the miraculous works of Memling and Van Eyck... the perfection of character and even drawing, the astounding finish, the glory of colour, and above all the pure religious sentiment and ecstatic poetry of these works, is not to be conceived or described.”22
The Pre-Raphaelite painters were influenced in their technique by early Flemish oil painting, as developed by Jan van Eyck. They studied the methods of early Flemish painters through books such as Charles Lock Eastlake's 1847 Materials for a History of Oil Painting.23 They sought pure, bright colors, and followed the Eyckian technique of drawing an outline on a pure, smooth white ground before painting, although they may have simplified some of the stages in van Eyck's original process. They used fine brushes ordinarily used for watercolors and thin paint, which allowed them to create paintings with the detail of van Eyck or Holbein and the linearity of Albrecht Dürer. They also explored a wet-on-wet technique over a white ground that may have been inspired by Italian frescoes in an attempt to achieve even more brilliant colors.24 The Pre-Raphaelites used minute brushstrokes and carefully chosen pigments to convey the exact appearance of nature, but they also used a working process developed by the earliest Flemish oil painters; as Prettejohn states, "At the basic level of physical materials and working procedure, the twin Pre-Raphaelite aims of 'truth' and primitivism are intertwined."25
The visual style of the Pre-Raphaelites was a unifying factor between the artists' varied interests in subject matter and theme. Millais' Ophelia, painted between 1851-1852, is a classic Pre-Raphaelite work, and includes many of the typical stylistic features of the movement [fig. 5]. The most striking visual characteristic of the painting is its clarity and minute detail. In Pre-Raphaelite art, each part of the work is as detailed and sharply focused as every other part, which can leave the focus of the work unclear, because in the visual act of focusing on one object, others become blurry and less distinct. In trying to achieve the ultimate realism, Pre-Raphaelite painters often provide too much information for the viewer to perceive at one time.
The Pre-Raphaelites rejected the traditional painterly methods of showing recession in space, such as atmospheric perspective, so details in the far distance are as clear and crisp as details in the foreground. The Italian painter Masaccio’s The Tribute Money, painted around 1425, eight hundred years before Ophelia, uses linear and aerial perspective to create the illusion of recession towards a distant landscape [fig. 6]. The walls of the building on the right of the painting follow regular orthogonals towards the vanishing point at the center of the painting, Christ’s head, focusing attention on the subject of the work. While the foreground details are clear, the hills in the distance are indistinct and bluish. In Millais’ Ophelia, the space seems to be flattened because the background, with its sharp details, appears as close to the viewer as the foreground. Although the Pre-Raphaelites were conversant with both aerial and linear perspective, they did not emphasize these techniques as much as the early Italian painters did when the innovations were still nascent.
Many have described Pre-Raphaelite art as “photographic.” It is less anachronistic to apply this term to the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites than to those of Holbein or van Eyck, because photography was rapidly developing and becoming popular in the 1840s, after Daguerre and Fox Talbot independently invented photographic processes in 1839.26 However, early photographs from the mid-nineteenth century do not have the sharp focus and saturated colors of modern photographs or the Pre-Raphaelite works. In comparing the Pre-Raphaelite movement to photography, critics are noting both the detail and realism of the art and its “documentary” nature. The Pre-Raphaelites in their quest for “truth to nature” seemed to present an unvarnished, unidealized vision of the world. The Pre-Raphaelites did not discriminate between the different aspects of their compositions, giving each equal artistic consideration. In Ophelia, Millais has painted an intrinsically unaesthetic stump with watersprouts with the same dedication as his beautiful model. The Pre-Raphaelite painters often seem to act as recording devices, capturing the random elements in their line of vision.27
A minute attention to detail is one of the hallmarks of Northern Renaissance art. Artists such as van Eyck and Holbein are particularly renowned for their “photographic” realism and microscopic focus. Holbein used microscopic details to give his 1533 masterpiece The Ambassadors an intense clarity of focus [fig. 7].28 The edges of his forms are crisp and clearly delineated. Holbein’s brushstrokes are tiny and not immediately visible, unlike the bravura virtuosity of Royal Academy painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, whom the Pre-Raphaelites nicknamed “Sir Sloshua.”29 Holbein has articulated the patterns on the items in the room, such as the draperies in the back, the cloth over the table, and the floor tiles, rather than merely suggesting their forms. Holbein’s fine details make his scene highly realistic, almost like a photograph; James Snyder states that Holbein worked with “photographic exactitude.”30
A literal, indiscriminate, unidealized approach to painting is another similarity between the Pre-Raphaelites and the Northern tradition. Critics also linked van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait, painted in 1434, to photography, claiming that "the enriched minor details of the room, seem to be daguerréotyped rather than painted, such is their extreme fineness and precision."31 The artist apparently painted Giovanni Arnolfini, with his pale, somewhat lugubrious face, and his new wife Giovanna Cenami exactly as they were in their new domestic setting. Like the convex mirror in the back of the room, van Eyck seems to have reflected everything in the room without creating a planned composition.32 In Masaccio’s The Tribute Money, the figures are idealized. They have a solid dignity and nobility of form; they are holy men and stand proudly erect. Early Italian Renaissance art could never be compared to a photograph, because the artist’s hand and mind in shaping the work are too visible.
Millais painted the background of Ophelia laboriously in the open air, returning to the studio to add the figure of Ophelia.33 He reproduced flowers with botanical precision, but given that he worked over a period of four months, he combined flowers that would not bloom together in nature. According to Prettejohn, this is in keeping with the Pre-Raphaelite approach to art, in which the parts are not subordinated to the whole.34 Each flower has its own reality that is distinct and dominant over the reality of the riverbank. The Pre-Raphaelite way of working seems to have reflected this approach. Millais may have divided his canvas into segments and worked on each to completion: Hunt admired “his first square of work on the canvas,” and Millais stated that he could paint an area of canvas “the size of a five-shilling piece” in a day.35
The Pre-Raphaelites did not give their subjects primacy. Millais finished the background foliage, the least important part of the painting, before adding the figure, and gave each the same artistic attention. For viewers used to an obvious main subject, this approach was disconcerting and challenging.36 In traditional English painting, as articulated by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the artist began by establishing the most important features in a painting and then filling in the less important features, always carefully integrating the disparate elements to create a harmonious overall effect. The early Italian artists were also preoccupied with creating unity in their works. For example, in The Tribute Money, Masaccio used repeated poses in the main figures to unify his painting. The arm gestures of St. Peter, Christ, and the tax collector echo each other and create a flowing line through the composition. The Pre-Raphaelite painters broke the world into separate pieces in order to capture its exact appearance, whereas the early Italian painters were concerned with creating a cohesive, congruent whole.
One of the most startling aspects of the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic was the use of color. The Pre-Raphaelite painters combined saturated pure hues with minimal blending, juxtaposing strong hues. Their working method was designed to produce the purest colors possible, following George Field’s new color theory in Chromatography, published in 1835.37 Although they followed the techniques of the original oil painters, the Pre-Raphaelites took advantage of new pigments created by chemists from newly discovered elements, such as chromium and cadmium.38 Hunt was particularly obsessed with finding the perfect pigments. When he found that Roberson's brands of vermilion and madder were not brilliant enough, he had them chemically tested and found that they had been mixed with red lead, which darkens over time. He began investigating other pigments in his quest to find the purest and most brilliant, avoiding earth tones despite their chemical stability because he found them dull.39 Adhering to their segmented approach to painting, the Pre-Raphaelites used each color at full strength in its own area. Hunt and Ruskin gave unmixed hues a moral significance, describing mixed colors as “contaminated” or “sullied.”40 The colors do not serve to highlight important compositional elements and downplay unimportant elements.
This use of pure colors was associated with Italian as well as early Flemish painting in mid-nineteenth century England,41 but today it is more closely associated with Northern Renaissance manuscripts and oil paintings than Italian frescoes (many of which have also faded over time). Between 1412 and 1416, the Limbourg brothers painted a manuscript Book of Hours, Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, that still features intensely saturated colors today [fig. 8]. In the decorative art tradition defined by stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts, the artists have created an intricately patterned surface of radiant color. The fine lords and ladies are arrayed in strong reds, greens, and whites, under a sky of such a distinctive, deep azure that it is the most recognizable feature of the Limbourg brothers’ art. The Pre-Raphaelites may or may not have seen Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, but it exemplifies the Northern Renaissance use of color and it influenced many later artists, including van Eyck. Although the Italians also used bright colors in their works, brilliant color is one of the defining characteristics of the Northern Renaissance.
One of the most important developments of fifteenth-century Italian art was chiaroscuro, the use of light and shadow to model form in a particular way. Masaccio used chiaroscuro to particular advantage in works like The Tribute Money, giving his forms and his space depth with consistent, strong light from the side, which created deep shadows. The Pre-Raphaelites largely rejected this important feature of early Italian art, as Carol Jacobi notes: "Hunt's mature technique may imitate the precision of fifteenth-century painting, but not its flatness nor its schematized chiaroscuro.”42 The Pre-Raphaelites eschewed the traditional artistic practice of using light and shadow to focus the eye on the subject of the painting. Artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds or Edward Landseer depicted shadowed areas with less detail, focus, and color than brightly lit areas.43 In Pre-Raphaelite paintings, although the bright lighting causes dark shadows, these shadows are as detailed and richly colored as the rest of the painting.
The symbolism in Pre-Raphaelite paintings is similar to the disguised symbolism in the works of Jan van Eyck and other Northern Renaissance painters, which developed when artists began moving away from stylized religious works towards greater realism. In their early stages, the Pre-Raphaelites focused on religious, historical, and literary subjects; later, they also painted landscapes and contemporary life. Their subjects often require intense scrutiny to decipher: as Prettejohn states in reference to Millais' Mariana, 1851, "The picture's interpretative implications cannot be simply decoded, any more than its visual intricacy can be mastered without prolonged close looking.”44 The symbolism in Pre-Raphaelite paintings is complex and often hidden behind the superficial subject matter.45
For example, although Hunt's The Hireling Shepherd, painted between 1851 and 1852, is on the surface a scene of bucolic seduction based on an image in Shakespeare's King Lear of a neglectful shepherd, it also contains a "specific theological message" that deplores the factionalism of the Protestants in England and the encroachments of Roman Catholicism [fig. 9].46 Hunt was influenced in painting The Hireling Shepherd by John Ruskin's 1851 pamphlet Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds, which argued for the reunification of the two divisions of the Church of England, the Tractarians and the Evangelicals. The sheep represent the Protestant flock ignored by their shepherd, lured to wander into the corn and falling ill as they convert to Catholicism. The pretty shepherdess in her dress like a cardinal's red robes represents the temptation of the Catholic church, and the shepherd gives her a death's head moth, "an emblem of superstition" as well as the fatal consequences of neglected duty.47 The innocent lamb on her knee, representing the children of England, is "risking death by eating unripe green apples," which represent the "poisonous doctrine" of Catholicism.48
In comparison, van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait also contains a variety of casual objects that each contain their own symbolism relating to divinely sanctioned marital fidelity and gender roles. The single lit candle in the chandelier represents the presence of Christ as well as the “marriage-candle” used in the wedding ceremony. Giovanni is associated with objects that indicate his role as the head of the household and the wage earner: he stands near the window and beside his feet are a pair of wooden clogs. In contrast, Giovanna’s realm is the home, and she stands by the bed and the dust whisk.49 The way that Giovanna Cenami is holding the folds of her dress makes her appear pregnant; it is apparent that this was the couple’s wish from the statuette of St. Margaret, “the patron saint of mothers,” on the bedpost.50 None of these objects seem out of place in a Flemish domestic interior, but they also have a special meaning that can be interpreted.
The Pre-Raphaelites and Northern Renaissance painters both wished to create works whose realism was undisturbed by overt symbolism. In contrast, the Italian painters would often include symbolic elements in their paintings without contriving to make them seem natural in the setting. For example, in Piero della Francesca’s Montefeltro Altarpiece, painted in 1465, a large ostrich egg hangs from a shell above the nave where the Madonna and Child are sitting [fig. 10]. This egg has a myriad of symbolic meanings. It may represent the miracle of Christ’s birth without mortal assistance, because at the time, people believed that ostrich eggs hatched on their own. People also believed that ostriches ate a metallic diet, and the patron of the work, Count de Montefeltro, was a soldier who relied on metal. It may also represent lost loved ones, and the Count de Montefeltro’s wife had recently died.51 There is no reason for an ostrich egg to be found in this setting other than its symbolic meaning; the early Italian artists did not share the Northern artists’ obsession with creating the illusion of everyday naturalism.
Some contemporary critics followed the Pre-Raphaelites' suggestion that they were inspired by early Italian art. In 1849, the Art-Journal compared paintings by Millais and Hunt to the "early Florentine school" and the "early Italian schools.”52 Over time, the critics began to rebel against the "Pre-Raphaelite" narrative, recognizing the Flemish influence on the Brotherhood. In 1856 Blackwood's Magazine stated:
...it has often struck us that [the Pre-Raphaelites] have committed a great blunder in appealing to the early Italian schools in corroboration of their principles. The works of 'the brethren' have little or nothing in common with the Italian ideal; while the literal laborious realism of their pictures... find in early Germanism their best fulfilment.53
The Aethenaeum also made this comparison a year later, stating that the Pre-Raphaelites were misnamed and proposing "Ante-Durerites" as a more appropriate title for the group. Even the Art-Journal in 1859 changed its tune and criticized the Pre-Raphaelites by denying any affinity for Italian art in their paintings: "the Italians aimed at beauty, or at all events where it was otherwise, at grace and dignity of all which our pre-Raphaelites have no notion.”54 Critics in the mid-nineteenth century often used similar terms to critique Northern Renaissance paintings and Pre-Raphaelite paintings, stressing a lack of idealism and an inordinate concern for depicting minute details.55
Despite their name and their own account of their main sources of inspiration, the Pre-Raphaelites were more influenced in their visual style, treatment of subject matter, and way of working by the art of the Northern Renaissance than the early Italian Renaissance. Philosophically, the Pre-Raphaelites were primitivists, trying to retrieve a mythical naïveté and authenticity from the past; in this respect, the early Italian artists appealed to them. As the Pre-Raphaelite movement developed, they began to disavow both of their past sources of inspiration, focusing instead on their modern observation from life, but this should not obscure their debt to earlier artists. The art of the Pre-Raphaelites resembles Northern Renaissance art in a number of important ways: their works may have the spirit of Italian Renaissance art, but they have the naive literalism and disguised symbolism of Jan van Eyck, and the brilliant colors and microscopic detail of the Limbourg brothers and Hans Holbein.
Bryant, Julius. “Madox Brown's English Autumn afternoon revisited: Pre-Raphaelitism and the environment.” Apollo 146 (July 1997): 41-43.
Cooper, Robyn. “The Relationship between the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Painters before Raphael in English Criticism of the Late 1840s and 1850s.” Victorian Studies 24 (Summer 1981): 405-438.
Faxon, Alicia. "D. G. Rossetti’s use of photography." History of Photography 16 (Autumn 1992): 254-262.
Forbes, Christopher. The Royal Academy (1837-1901) Revisited. New York: Forbes, 1975.
Fredeman, William. Pre-Raphaelitism: A Bibliocritical Study. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press, 1965.
Hartt, Frederick. History of Italian Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969.
Herrmann, Luke. Nineteenth Century British Painting. London: Giles de la Mare Publishers Limited, 2000.
Hunt, William Holman. Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Vol. 1. London: Macmillan Company, 1905.
Jacobi, Carol. "William Holman Hunt: Revealing and Disguising the Object." Visual Culture in Britain 4 (2003): 1-20, 109.
Kleiner, Fred, Christin Mamiya, and Richard Tansey. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages. 11th ed. Orlando, F.L.: Harcourt College Publishers, 2001.
Landow, George P. Replete with Meaning: William Holman Hunt and Typological Symbolism. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1979. http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/whh/replete/contents.html
Langley, Jane. "Pre-Raphaelites or ante-Dürerites?." The Burlington Magazine 137 (August 1995): 501-508.
Prettejohn, Elizabeth. The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Snyder, James. Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985.
Watkinson, Raymond. Pre-Raphaelite Art and Design. Greenwich, C.T.: New York Graphic Society Ltd., 1970.
1Elizabeth Prettejohn, The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 2000), 19.
2Fred Kleiner, Christin Mamiya, and Richard Tansey, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 11th ed. (Orlando, F.L.: Harcourt College Publishers, 2001), 601.
4Luke Herrmann, Nineteenth Century British Painting (London: Giles de la Mare Publishers Limited, 2000), 237.
5William Holman Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, vol. 1, (London: Macmillan Company, 1905), 130-131.
8Raymond Watkinson, Pre-Raphaelite Art and Design (Greenwich, Connecticut: New York Graphic Society Ltd., 1970), 30-35.
10Jane Langley, “Pre-Raphaelites or ante-Dürerites?,” The Burlington Magazine (1995), 505.
13John Ruskin, The Works of John Ruskin (Library Edition), ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, 12 (London: George Allen, 1903-1912), 322; quoted in Prettejohn, 58-59.
19Alicia Faxon, “D. G. Rossetti’s use of photography,” History of Photography, 16 (1992), 258.
28Kleiner, Mamiya, and Tansey, 703-704.
30James Snyder, Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985), 386.
31Athenaeum (25 March 1843), 291; quoted in Langley, 502.
32This is a misapprehension, because van Eyck incorporated complex symbolism in his works, as discussed below.
39Carol Jacobi, “William Holman Hunt: Revealing and Disguising the Object,” Visual Culture in Britain, 4 (2002), 7.
45George Landow, Replete with Meaning: William Holman Hunt and Typological Symbolism. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1979.http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/whh/replete/contents.html
51Frederick Hartt, History of Italian Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969), 246.
52Art-Journal (June 1849), 71 and (May 1849), 147; quoted in Langley, 506.
53Blackwood’s Magazine (November 1856), 511; quoted in Langley, 507.
54Art-Journal (May 1859), 132; quoted in Langley, 507.