An Estonian girl who has found a home in Sweden.

Tuesday, April 14


April 14, 2009 Posted by Vaire

There is an exhibition about Pre-Raphaelite art in Nationalmuseet. As the Pre-Raphaelites got some of their inspiration from Medieval and Renaissance art, I was interested in going. Some of my friends were interested as well and one of them noticed that there also was a lecture about the artists on Friday.

We went to the lecture first and then looked at the paintings. The imagery in those paintings is fascinating and quite different from painter to painter. Portraits, medieval stories, religious allegories and Shakespearean plays were all represented.

There was one room titled "Inspiration" that showed a medieval Madonna and a Renaissance one with a Pre-Raphaelite painting. It was very interesting to see the difference in texture of the materials. Where in Medieval, and to some extent in Renaissance paintings, one can sometimes identify the fibre that the fabric is made of. If you look at those paintings enough, you'll learn what silk, wool, fur and linen look like as depicted by the artist. In some paintings you can see seams, lace and embroideries with enough detail to be able to copy those elements.

There wasn't much of that in Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Sure, there are clothes depicted with meticulous detail, but one couldn't tell with certainty whether it was silk, linen, wool or cotton. Mostly I couldn't even hazard a guess. I suppose that particular detail was not important in Victorian England.

There were a few exceptions, though. A soldier saying good bye, on the eve of a battle, to his sweetheart who was wearing a silk dress that was hastily finished; and a scene from Decameron done in 15th Century Venetian style.

In general, I liked the Pre-Raphaelite style of paining, with it's meticulous attention to detail and their choice of subjects. If you are in Stockholm and are interested in art or art history, go take a look. Highly recommended.