The National Portrait Gallery To Showcase The Women Who Inspired The Pre-Raphaelites In New Exhibition

Many unknown women like Fanny Eaton, who inspired the artists in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, will be the subject of a new exhibition in October 2019 at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The National Portrait Gallery in London will be staging a new exhibition in the autumn of 2019 which will be the first of its kind to showcase the many women who inspired the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 160 years ago to create some of their most stunning paintings.

As the Evening Standard reports, Dr. Jan Marsh will be the curator of the new Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and this is as it should be, as Dr. Marsh is the author of the well-researched book Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, which was first published in 1985.

This large and informative book highlights the lives of many of the women and muses who were involved with the men of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, with many of these women, like Elizabeth Siddal, artists in their own right. In fact, in the case of Siddal, she was talented enough to attract the attention of prominent art critic John Ruskin, who offered her money to keep painting and creating art.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed by the close circle of acquaintances of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and included artists like William Holman Hunt, Sir John Everett Millais, and William Morris, amongst others. With harsh critics like Charles Dickens publicly denouncing them, Ruskin took them in hand and loudly proclaimed to the world that they were creating revolutionary new works of art.

Describing the women who inspired the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, whose lives will be the subject of the new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Dr. Marsh has asserted that it is high time that the public learned that these women were not just mere models, but were living, breathing beings of flesh who were far from passive ornaments to men like Rossetti and Holman-Hunt.

“If people think of the Pre-Raphaelites they think of lovely ladies with long hair and pouty lips but we need to see the models not as passive mannequins but as active participants in the making of the art. These women actively helped form the Pre-Raphaelite movement as we know it. It is time to acknowledge their agency and explore their contributions.”

One of the women who will be featured in the new exhibition is Fanny Eaton, who has received very little critical attention. Eaton originally hailed from Jamaica and was the product of a mother who had been enslaved. Escaping her homeland, Fanny moved to England to marry a man in London and soon became a model for the Pre-Raphaelites. As Dr. Marsh stated, “She has basically not been seen. She appears in very many paintings but for a long time her identity was unknown.”

Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, who is the director of the National Portrait Gallery, has warmly welcomed the new October 2019 exhibition of the women who inspired the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, explaining, “I am delighted to announce these two new exhibitions for autumn 2019, both of which will be viscerally beautiful and quietly political in highlighting the vital role women have played in shaping artistic movements and genres.”

Source: Read Full Article