Friday, June 19, 2009

Restoration ...

... Pre-Raphaelite art: the paintings that obsessed the Victorians.

How had things got to this point? It was the largely Franco-centric tastemakers of the early 20th century who stuck the knife in. Though the leading critic of the 19th century, John Ruskin, endorsed Pre-Raphaelitism as “a school of art nobler than the world has seen for 300 years”, his successor, the Bloomsbury-ite Roger Fry, dismissed the PRB as parochial, illustrative failures who dealt in “archaistic bric-à-brac”.

But Debussy, who styled himself musicien Francais, based his early cantata La Demoiselle élue on Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poem "The Blessed Damozel" and preferred Turner to Monet.

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