Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion at the Walker Art Gallery, until 5 June

The Walker Art Gallery will display more than 120 paintings by leading Pre-Raphaelite artists as part of a major new exhibition, Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion, which runs from 12 February to 5 June 2016.

National Museums Liverpool has worked with one of the world’s leading Pre-Raphaelite experts, Christopher Newall, to produce an exhibition which reveals, through some of the most enduring and popular works of the period, how the northern art scene rivalled London in Victorian England. Paintings on loan from institutions and private collections across the UK will feature alongside key pieces from National Museums Liverpool’s own collections. Many of the privately owned works have never been on public display before.

Christopher Newall, curator of the exhibition, said: “Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion will reveal, for the very first time, how the city of Liverpool influenced a movement that would change the course of British art in the 19th century.“The support of the city of Liverpool was invaluable in establishing and positioning Pre-Raphaelitism within the Victorian art world. This exhibition will explore different aspects of patronage, art politics and of the careers of the artists who lived in Liverpool in a way that no exhibition has previously done.”

Through renowned works by Pre-Raphaelite masters including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the exhibition will explore the significance of the Liverpool Academy and the city’s Autumn Exhibitions, which enabled the movement to flourish. The exhibition will also introduce the collectors who were both friends and supporters of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Collectors such as John Miller, Frederick Richards Leyland and George and Julia Rae enabled these revolutionary painters to change the face of British art in the 19th century. In addition to exploring some of the subject matter traditionally associated with Pre-Raphaelite paintings, including portraiture, religion and mythology, the exhibition will showcase a number of works depicting scenes of rural life and recognisable British landscapes, notably those by Liverpool painters including William Davis, James Campbell and William JJC Bond.

Tickets for Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion are available to purchase online, priced at £7 for adults and £5 for concessions, or on the day at the Walker Art Gallery. The exhibition is free to anyone aged 18 and under and discounted tickets are available for existing members of National Museums Liverpool and other selected groups. New members can enjoy their first entry into the exhibition for free. For further information, and to purchase tickets or become a member of National Museums Liverpool, visit: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/preraphaelites

Accompanied by a full-colour 128-page catalogue, the exhibition also presents fascinating new research into Liverpool artist John Ingle Lee and renowned collector John Miller, through the legacy of the glorious artworks they left behind.

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