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Medieval and Renaissance Ideas of Beauty and Desire: A Pre-Raphaelite Obsession


Katerina Kern


Presented at the CiRCE Spring Regional Conference 2023.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood created countless paintings and poetry celebrating Arthuriana and Dante’s Divine Comedy. They rejected Renaissance notions of beauty (hence their name) and sought a medieval understanding and art form. This talk will consider the difference between the Medieval and Renaissance notions of beauty, why the Victorian Medievalists elevated Arthur and Dante, and what this might mean for our schools today.