National Gallery Opens Survey of Pre-Raphaelites

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A journalist examines art at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. (Credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

A journalist examines art at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. (Credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The National Gallery of Art is presenting the first major U.S. survey of Britain’s first avant-garde art movement.

The new exhibition, “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design,” recalls the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood that shocked Britain from 1848 to 1900. The show opening Sunday features 130 paintings, sculptures and other works. It’s on view through May 19.

Curators say the Pre-Raphaelites rejected rigid rules for painting and sought inspiration from before Italian artist Raphael, looking to medieval and early Renaissance art. They painted subjects from Shakespeare and the Bible and took on social issues and gender roles, changing how women were portrayed.

The leading painters were John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. They may not be the most famous artists, but curators say their images are familiar for many.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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