Art lovers take note! There is a major exhibition coming to the Art Gallery of Ballarat
, featuring work from The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of the 19th century. The exhibition features works never before seen in Australia from the Ashmolean Museum
in Oxford, England. Alongside Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolours
visitors can view another exhibition - In the Company of Morris
, featuring historical and contemporary Australian artworks influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
The exhibition will feature works never seen before in Australia. Shown here: Marie Spartali Stillman 'Cloister Lilies' (1891). Watercolour and body colour on paper. Ashmolean Museum.
Art Gallery of Ballarat Director, Louise Tegart said "We are thrilled to be partnering with the renowned Ashmolean Museum to bring this stunning exhibition to Ballarat. These little-seen artworks show a different side to the Pre-Raphaelites than the paintings that have been reproduced widely".
The exhibition will show a different side to the Pre-Raphaelites. Pictured here: Henry Wallis 'Mary Ellen Meredith' (1858). Graphite on paper. Ashmolean Museum. Purchased (Bouch Fund) with the assistance of The Art Fund, the Friends of the Ashmolean, Michael Barclay, and others, 2003.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) was a group of seven young artists who, in 1848, resolved to rebel against the 'mannered' style of artists who came after Raphael. This bold move put them at odds with the academic teachings of the Royal Academy of Arts. The PRB set out to paint with originality and authenticity by studying nature, celebrating their friends and heroes and taking inspiration from the art and poetry about which they were passionate. This innovative approach and their characteristic styles influenced younger generations of British artists well into the 20th century.
The exhibition, which has been curated by Christiana Payne, Professor Emerita of History of Art, at Oxford Brookes University, includes portraits the artists made of each other, studies for paintings and commissions, and subjects taken from history, literature and landscape. Art Gallery of Ballarat is fortunate to have secured access to this valuable and fragile collection.
The influence of the Pre-Raphaelites continued to be seen well into the 20th century. Seen here: Edward Burne-Jones 'Cerberus' (1872-5). Graphite on paper. Ashmolean Museum. Bequest of Sir Philip Burne-Jones, 1926.
Louise Tegart goes on to say: "The exhibition ties in perfectly with the Gallery's history. James Oddie, founder of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, came out from England and believed in the ethos of Pre-Raphaelites John Ruskin and William Morris - that art is for everyone and can improve our everyday lives. The Gallery's motto Not for self but for all
reflects that philosophy."
"At the same time the Pre-Raphaelites were emerging in England, Ballarat was growing as a goldrush town. Pre-Raphaelites Thomas Woolner and Bernhard Smith made their way to the Ballarat goldfields and continued their artistic careers furthering public knowledge of the movement in Australia. Relatives of various members emigrated to Australia and did much to promote the Brotherhood."
"I know this is going to be an exhibition that will capture the public's imagination as it provides an insight into the life and loves of this special group of artists."
The exhibition that will be showing at the same time as the Pre-Raphaelite works is In the Company of Morris. In the Company of Morris will showcase historical and contemporary Australian artworks demonstrating the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites, and in particular William Morris. Morris is considered one of the most important and inspiring figures of the 19th century. He advocated for an 'anti-industrial' path in reaction to the Industrial Revolution, championing all things handmade. He imagined a future where the world would have 'A new art, a glorious art, made by the people and for the people'.
In the Company of Morris
In the Company of Morris will showcase works inspired by William Morris. Pictured here: Deborah Klein, Three Women (2021) triptych, synthetic polymer paint on linen. Proposed acquisition. Copyright Deborah Klein. Image courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
will include works from Norman Lindsay, Deborah Klein, Elizabeth Pulie, William Strutt, Fiona Hiscock, Natasha Bieniek, Christian Waller, Napier Waller, Kate Rohde, Thomas Woolner, Bernhard Smith, Alice Muskett, Louiseann King, Stephen Bird, Janet Beckhouse and Emily Floyd.
You can see Pre-Raphaelites - Drawings and Watercolours
, showing with In the Company of Morris
, at the Art Gallery of Ballarat
, 40 Lydiard Street, Ballarat
, from 20 May to 6 August 2023
Your ticket gives you access to both exhibitions. Tickets are: Gallery Members - $15, adults $20, children $8, families (2 adults and up to 3 children) $50
. You can buy tickets here
The Art Gallery of Ballarat is open daily from 10am - 5pm
. For more information about the exhibition, go to the website
, or call the gallery on (03) 5320 5858.