R[each], A[ngus] B. "Town Talk and Table Talk." Illustrated London News 20 Apr. 1850, 306.


Has any casual reader of art-criticisms ever been puzzled by the occurrence of three mysterious letters as denoting a new-fashioned school or style in painting lately come into vogue. The hieroglyphics in question are "P.R.B.," and they are the initials of the words "Præ-Raffaelite Brotherhood." To this league belong the ingenious gentlemen who profess themselves practitioners of "Early Christian Art," and who–setting aside the Mediæval schools of Italy, the Raffaeles, Guidos, and Titians, and all such small-beer daubers–devote their energies to the reproduction of saints squeezed out perfectly flat–as thought the poor gentlemen had been martyred by being passed under a Baker’s Patent–their appearance being further improved by their limbs being stuck akimbo, so as to produce a most interesting series of angles and finely-developed elbows. A glance at some of the minor exhibitions now open will prove what really clever me have been bitten by this extraordinary art-whim, of utterly banishing and disclaiming perspective and everything like rotundity of form. It has been suggested that the globe-shape of the world must be very afflicting to the ingenious gentlemen in question. Sydney Smith said that Quakers would, if they could, have clothed all creation in grey. The "P.R.B." would be bolder still, for they would beat it out flat, and make men and women like artfully-shaped and coloured pancakes.


This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1999 Thomas J. Tobin.

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