Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Radical, dangerous and revolutionary - immerse yourself in the movement that put Victorian Britain on the cutting edge of art.

A century and a half of art hasn't diminished public fascination with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the iconoclastic band of artists led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais who sought to free art from the tyranny of High Renaissance idealism. Tate Britain's autumn exhibition brings together over 150 works to present the Brotherhood as an early example of the avant garde and Britain's first truly modern art movement.

Works on show span from painting and sculpture to photography and the applied arts, foregrounding the artists' heightened sensitivity to aesthetics, science and politics. Every key member of the group is represented, from a Burne-Jones wardrobe to a John Everett Millais piece painted en plein air.

Don't miss

Ford Madox Brown's rarely seen masterpiece Work will be on display, an expansive and detailed painting capturing the full breadth of Victorian society in its depiction of navvies at work digging a drain.

Bought with help from the Art Fund in 1916, Rossetti's mesmerising group painting The Beloved combines exoticism and sensuality in a powerful exploration of female beauty.

Venue details

Tate Britain Millbank London SW1P 4RG 020 7887 8888

Entry details

£7 with National Art Pass (standard entry £14)

Sat – Thur, 10am – 6pm
Fri, 10am – 10pm

What the critics say


Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, then, is an ambitious show full of amazing pictures.


A new exhibition at Tate Britain sets out to show that the Pre-Raphaelites were more than aesthetes idealising the past.


Tate Britain's new Pre-Raphaelites exhibition is a steam-punk triumph, a raw and rollicking resurrection of the attitudes, ideas and passions of our engineering, imperialist, industrialist, capitalist and novel-writing ancestors.


With unrelenting energy, and in never-before rivalled detail, the exhibition pursues its arguments, hammering them in harder and harder with the benefit of historical hindsight.