Front cover image for The Pre-Raphaelites and science

The Pre-Raphaelites and science

John Holmes (Author)
This revelatory book traces how the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their close associates put scientific principles into practice across their painting, poetry, sculpture, and architecture. In their manifesto, The Germ, the Pre-Raphaelites committed themselves to creating a new kind of art modeled on science, in which precise observation could lead to new discoveries about nature and humanity. In Oxford and London, Victorian scientists and Pre-Raphaelite artists worked together to design and decorate natural history museums as temples to God's creation. At the same time, journals like Nature and the Fortnightly Review combined natural science with Pre-Raphaelite art theory and poetry to find meaning and coherence within a worldview turned upside down by Darwin's theory of evolution. Offering reinterpretations of well-known works by John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, and William Morris, this major revaluation of the popular Victorian movement also considers less-familiar artists who were no less central to the Pre-Raphaelite project. These include William Michael Rossetti, Walter Deverell, James Collinson, John and Rosa Brett, John Lucas Tupper, and the O'Shea brothers, along with the architects Benjamin Woodward and Alfred Waterhouse. Published in association with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Print Book, English, 2018
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2018
xi, 295 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
9780300232066, 0300232063
Introduction: the Pre-Raphaelites and Victorian science
Part 1. The Pre-Raphaelite project: scientific art for a scientific age, 1848 to 1860
The search after truth: art on the model of science
To know what has grown: the ecological vision of Pre-Raphaelite art
The knowing hand of the anatomist: embodied psychology in Pre-Raphaelite painting and poetry
Looking the matter through and through: sacred art on scientific principles
An experiment in architecture: Pre-Raphaelitism and science at the Oxford Museum
Part 2. Shaping a scientific culture: the Pre-Raphaelite arts and Victorian science after 1860
Fault lines: Pre-Raphaelitism and science after 1859
The facts of the case: scientific naturalism and Pre-Raphaelite poetry
Pre-Raphaelite architecture and scientific controversy after Darwin: the natural history museum versus nature
Retrospect: Pre-Raphaelite painting and the history of science
Conclusion: the Pre-Raphalites and science today