In 1848 seven creative proficients Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, James Collinson, John Everett Millais, Frederic George Stephens, and Thomas Woolner came together to form the Pre-Raphealite Brotherhood. They wanted to develop a naturalistic style of art, outside the rules and conventions drilled into students at art academies, where academics subscribed to the idea that during the Renaissance period Italian artist Raphael attained a high degree of perfection. They were encouraging students to draw from his examples, rather than nature itself. So the new group styled themselves “Pre-Raphaelites” and popularized a theatrically romantic style, marked by great beauty and a fondness for Greek and Arthurian legend. One of the founders William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) is best-known for his painting of Jesus as The Light of the World (1853). Today it hangs in Keble College, Oxford (original) and St. Paul’s Cathedral (copy). Like all Hunt’s paintings, the details are meticulously rendered, craftsmanship superb, and the canvas filled with allusion and symbolic implications.

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