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TOKYO

“The Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris Artists, Designers and Craftsmen”

Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo

by Kiwako Tabata

After the Industrial Revolution in England (mid-18th to mid-19th centuries), society became concerned with increasing poverty and pollution and many yearned for a return to bygone values and morals.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, founded by the young painters William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti looked to medieval inspirations, believing that the classical work of High Renaissance artist Raphael (1483-1520) had been a negative influence on art. They used imagery from the Bible, ancient myths and medieval stories, and focused on less-contrived poses, realism and societal issues. Later, when William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones joined the PRB, an abstract style also developed within the group, and this became the beginnings of Art Nouveau, a movement that influenced Japanese art and literature during the Meiji Era (1868-1912). About 100 Pre-Raphaelite works and related items are on show; till July 14.

Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo, (03) 3714-1201, 2-4-36 Meguro, Meguro-ku, 10-min. walk from Meguro Station, JR Yamanote Line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥900. Closed Mon. www.mmat.jp.