An Australian Pre-Raphaelite Tale
Crittenden, Victor, M A R G I N: life & letters in early Australia
The Pre-Raphaelite movement or as it was called The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was essentially an affair for artists. A group of painters in England had become disillusioned with the rather stilted classical style of painting which had evolved from the Renaissance. They decided that they should take the art of painting back to the period before the Italian painter Raphael. They were saying in effect that the true direction of Art had been side tracked into a formal, and now dead, form. They wanted to go back to the style which had preceded this constricting fashion. It was a return to art of the medieval period.
Artists like Burne Jones supported by authors like John Ruskin caused a major revolution by presenting paintings with far more detail, with a different pallet of primary colours and a medieval subject matter. Ruskin was a supporter of this new development and it spread to the other arts including literature. It also was connected with the growing appreciation of the Gothic in Architecture, not only in churches but in public and domestic buildings. This is the reason why we have 'gothic' buildings in Australia like most of our Cathedrals and some Government Houses as well as private houses.
The influence also appeared in literature in England with historical romances and medieval tales and serials. There were some Australian attempts at historical tales published in Australian periodicals like the Australian Journal for example
In 1858 there appeared in the magazine The Month a 'Fairy Story for Old and Young'. It consisted of four Chapters and occupied fifteen pages of the magazine. Not only that but it was illustrated by four line drawings. Only one illustration contained a picture of a fairy and I wondered if this was the first depiction of a fairy in an Australia publication.
The story was written by the lawyer and poet James Lionel Michael a friend and colleague of Frank Fowler and Joseph Sheridan Moore who were …
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Publication information: Article title: An Australian Pre-Raphaelite Tale. Contributors: Crittenden, Victor - Author. Magazine title: M A R G I N: life & letters in early Australia. Issue: 68 Publication date: April 2006. Page number: 5+. © 2009 Mulini Press. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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