As the name suggests, when these guys waxed nostalgic, they didn't mess around. They went back another 250 years to the good old days of Raphael and those artist who preceded him in search of a didactic realism they felt their contemporaries had forsaken. Draftsmanship and literal color ruled! And, sweet loveliness ruled supreme! It was almost as if they sat out to give nostalgia a bad name. Chief among these was William Morris, the founder of the movement, as well as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, Ford Madox Brown, John Everett Millais, and Edward Burne-Jones (these guys were rather fond of their middle names). Some, like Brown, weren't quite as nostalgic as others. He longed for the good old days of Gothic art while others, such as Hunt viewed moral truth and visual accuracy as tantamount to a religion of sorts.
|La Pia de' Tolomei, 1868-69, Dante Rossetti|
(retouched periodically until about 1880)
|Queen Guinevere, 1858, William Morris|
These guys gave perfection a bad name.