Back to nature: Landscape in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Arts and Crafts movement

Mónica Vergés Alonso


By the mid-19th century, the United Kingdom had reached the peak of industrialisation and economic expansion, while also revealing the first drawbacks of progress: social inequality, urban overcrowding, and aesthetic discontent as a result of production techniques. In this context, and in opposition to the prevailing academic art, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was born. In paintings prior to Raphael and medieval legends, they sought the authenticity they considered had been lost in their time, directing their attentive gaze towards nature. From the outset, the Brotherhood had the support of the art critic John Ruskin. Indeed, his writings on a new economic ethics and the creative and dignifying value of craftsmanship marked his «disciple» William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.


John Ruskin; Pre-Raphaelites; Arts and Crafts; landscape; decorative arts

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