the members of the pre-raphaelite brotherhood were:
Following an uneventful exhibition and failed magazine, two controversies plagued the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. First, Christ in the House of His Parents—a painting by Millais, one of the group’s most prominent members—was deemed “ugly” and, therefore, blasphemous. Leading the crusade against Millais? None other than Charles Dickens, one of Victorian England’s most important writers.
The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of painters and poets living and working in Victorian England. Established by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1848, the group was founded to counter ideals popularized during the High Renaissance. Specifically, Hunt, Millais, and Rossetti believed that art was in its golden age pre-Raphael—a painter often praised for his idealized approach to his subject matter—and sought to bring naturalism and realistic detail back to painting.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was greatly influenced by nature and its members used great detail to show the natural world using bright and sharp-focus techniques on a white canvas. In attempts to revive the brilliance of colour found in Quattrocento art, Hunt and Millais developed a technique of painting in thin glazes of pigment over a wet white ground in the hope that the colours would retain jewel-like transparency and clarity. Their emphasis on brilliance of colour was a reaction to the excessive use of bitumen by earlier British artists, such as Reynolds, David Wilkie and Benjamin Robert Haydon. Bitumen produces unstable areas of muddy darkness, an effect the Pre-Raphaelites despised.
The group continued to accept the concepts of history painting and mimesis, imitation of nature, as central to the purpose of art. The Pre-Raphaelites defined themselves as a reform movement, created a distinct name for their form of art, and published a periodical, The Germ, to promote their ideas. The group’s debates were recorded in the Pre-Raphaelite Journal.
Though the Brotherhood was vilified in the press by such notables as Charles Dickens, who detected in Millais’s painting ‘the lowest depths of what is mean, odious, repulsive and revolting’  , from 1851, the painters were vigorously defended by critic and Pre-Raphaelite patron John Ruskin, from whose Modern Painters I & II (1843, 1846) Hunt later claimed that the group had derived its ideas about the importance of truthfully representing nature.
Important literary developments of this period included a volume of William Morris’s poems, The Defence of Guenevere (1858), and George Meredith’s Modern Love (1862), a scandalous sonnet sequence about marital breakdown. Christina Rossetti’s poetry collection, Goblin Market (1862), was the first unqualified Pre-Raphaelite literary success. Illustrated by her brother Dante Gabriel in a style that would become widely imitated, it was also a landmark publication in terms of Victorian book illustration. Critical reaction against Algernon Charles Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads 1866, whose subjects included necrophilia, sado-masochism and blasphemy, caused the publisher to withdraw the volume. Championed first by the Pre-Raphaelites and later by the Aesthetes of the fin-de-siècle, Swinburne’s controversial ideas about poetry’s purpose evolved into an aesthetic philosophy that elevated artistic quality over moral, political or social content.
Artist: John Everett Millais
Taking his inspiration from early Italian frescoes, like those by the monk Fra Angelico, Rossetti chose a simplified palette and composition. But within these self-imposed boundaries, and despite the inclusion of many recognizable symbols of the Virgin (the lilies, etc.), the scene departs totally from traditional depictions. The artist used his sister as a model for the Virgin, highlighting her red hair and the innocent, fragile state of a young woman just awakening from sleep. Since the Renaissance the Annunciation had been used as an example for women’s piety and virginity, but the modern expression on Rossetti’s Virgin’s face and her posture seem disturbed and mysterious and are difficult to interpret as pious. This uncertainty introduced into a sacred scene is typical of Rossetti, and it is above all his Naturalism that allows the viewer to experience such a profound connection to the humanity of the normally idealized Virgin.
“Far from passive mannequins, […] these women actively helped form the Pre-Raphaelite movement as we know it,” says curator Jan Marsh in a statement. “It is time to acknowledge their agency and explore their contributions.”
Simply put, the Brotherhood was a boys’ club that intentionally excluded women.