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Pre-Raphaelites in Love

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A tremendously engaging account of the turbulent relationships between the Pre-Raphaelite painters and the models who seemed to embody their dreams. Two photo inserts.
Hardcover, 468 pages
Published January 24th 1989 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1989)
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Strange, awkward title, although it is pretty literal. This is pretty repetitive. After about the 3rd Pre-Raphaelite, I got the picture that they all had strange relationships with women. I think this was most interesting as a portrait of Victorian married life among the bohemian set. Man, those guys were pretty fucked up. They all had sexual hang-ups---fear of sex, inability to have sex, etc. And everyone was so sickly--and these were the middle class. Some of these people passed years sick, an ...more
Jul 30, 2008 Margaret rated it really liked it
Despite the unfortunate title, no doubt slapped on it by some desperate soul in the publisher’s marketing department, this is actually a lively and well-researched nonfiction book about the Pre-Raphaelite poets and painters and the women who came to them as models and found themselves transformed, sometimes very uneasily, into muses: Dante Rossetti and Lizzie Siddal, William Holman Hunt and Annie Miller, William Morris and his eventual wife Jane, and John Everett Millais and Effie Gray. Rich wit ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-history
I was so pleased with this book. I had heard about it from "The Lives of the Muses" It's so well researched but also just really easy to read, which makes for a lovely combination in an art history book. It goes deep into everyone's lives, their strengths and faults. The book feels carefully done and makes me want to understand more about the period, I love feeling that way after finishing a book.
Aaron Meyer
Jul 23, 2016 Aaron Meyer rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
This book explores the lives and relationships of several of the key persons in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. At times it is quite engrossing and had trouble putting it down to go do other things. I can totally understand the unique situations these individuals found themselves placed in having been there myself in the pursuit of art in one form or another. Well worth the reading if you are interested in the Pre-Raphaelite's.
Samuel Valentino
Dec 19, 2016 Samuel Valentino rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pre-raphaelites, art
A well-researched, informative, and entertaining book. I learned much more about the history of the major Pre-Raphaelite painters by reading this.

That being said - and while I still give it five stars - as an artist I couldn't help but notice that the author had a PhD in English Literature, rather than Art History. As such, she seems to value the artists' work based on what she thinks of the artist, rather than artistic merit. And she has decided opinions on the artists. It appears that she's in
I have to say I was not very impressed by this book at all. In the preface Daly claimed she was writing a feminist history on marriage, however what she was writing was in fact very male-focused biography. The women seemed to only exist in HOW they related to the men, their own lives, activities and artistic abilities were largely ignored. For example, one of them set up an art school, raised 10,000 to fund under privileged artists, ran and won a councillor seat in a local election, this was cov ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Kelly rated it liked it
Pre-Raphaelites in Love is a worthy read. Daly explores the social context of the love lives of the Pre-Raphaelites and how the way they chose to live affected them in English society, as well as their relationships with each other. In contrast to the modern's rejections of romanticism and satire of Victorian life by other artists, like Oscar Wilde, the Pre-Raphaelites celebrated romance and beauty and medieval aesthetics, and were the popular non-elitist artists of their day. I enjoyed most the ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Virginie rated it it was amazing
I am deeply immersed in this engrossing biography, it depicts a fascinating world, ...these Pre Raph actually were a fascinating bunch.I am having a wonderful time.I gulped down a bio about Lizzie Siddal last year, I loved it...everything about Pre Raphs has been triggering my interest ever since.

I recommend !

Great study of passionate and often tragic relationship between the most famous Pre-raph artists and their models, lovers and wives.I recommend reading this book along with one showing the
Dec 02, 2007 Monica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Paul B
Shelves: art-history
A great book for those interested in a different angle on the art history of the 'Pre-Raphs ' (term I got from Paul). Their tapestries, paintings, books and furniture are handsome but their relationships were not idyllic. It explores Rosetti's love with Jane Morris, his young bride's death and Morris' dedication to his art and politics. I remember thinking no wonder Morris could write about utopia and create such wonderful work because he had servants! I don't remember details (but I pasted a ve ...more
Christina K
May 04, 2016 Christina K rated it it was amazing
I looooove this book, and its look at all the unknown shenanigans that the Great Painters of the 19th Century were getting up to. Also, it gives equal time to all the models/wives/sisters/lovers/supporters of these man-children (sometimes) as well as the men themselves. So many more scandals than I ever dreamed of! Also, great photos of the art, and explanations of their friendships' problems, their arguments with the Royal Academy, and how history kind of ran over them in favor of the Impressio ...more
Jun 29, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, art
Narrative non-fiction as art history. This is an utterly fascinating group biography of all the major players in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, most of whom led very bizarre lives. The book was as just as gripping as a good novel, but I also learned so much about the period and its art and literature.
A fabulous book about the ultimate disfunctional extended art family, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of mid-19th century England. Their glorious paintings are astounding as were their lives. Constantly changing partners and living extraordinary lives.
Nov 08, 2016 lisa_emily rated it really liked it
I love reading about the Pre-Raphaelites even though I do think they are cads, most of them. Interesting cads. This book does a good capturing the various love affairs of the main painters of the Brotherhood. In reading this, one could feel better about one's own whacked love affairs.
Joseph Teller
I couldn't finish this - these people had HORRIBLE lives, especially the women, and made really bad choices in love. On the other hand, its extensive, detailed, and gives an interesting look into these artists and their families and their world. Don't read it if you depress easily.
Feb 13, 2016 Tatjana rated it really liked it
Beautiful book with gorgeous quality color plates.
Never "read it", but have it and look at it often.
Jun 24, 2008 Ccmaria62 rated it liked it
Educational if you like the art.
Oct 16, 2012 Vel rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully intricate amorous account of the pre-raphs' lives, seeking the inseparable connection between their loves and their art, all written in an elegant, eloquent style.
Suzanne Cowan
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