Royal Academy Exhibition, 1849



At the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1849 the Pre-Raphaelites asserted their identities as a group. While the Academy hierarchy was noted by the acronym A.R.A. to indicate an associate, or 'R.A.' to indicate a full member, the acronym ‘P.R.B.’ identified the Pre-Raphaelites as a Brotherhood, an alternative, more egalitarian group formation. Millais' Isabella was celebrated by the Art Journal as "a pure aspiration in the feeling of the early Florentine school ...  with all the simplicity of the old painters ... The picture is, perhaps, on the whole, the most re-markable of the whole collection ; it cannot fail to establish the fame of the young painter." (171). It was hung above the line, in the best position to meet the viewers eyes, close to Holman Hunt's Rienzi.

Consult the 1849 Royal Academy exhibition catalogue here, or read more about it in the RA Chronicle 250 here.

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