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William Rossetti's Art Criticism examines the art criticism of William Michael Rossetti, an underrated member of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood and places it within the context of Victorian Culture. Drawing on many reviews never published in book form, this study establishes Rossetti as a major art critic and valuable source of information on the Victorian world. The author presents Rossetti's role in the Pre Raphaelite movement as editor of 'Germ' and as a beginning reviewer when he maintained the realist creed seen in D.G. Rossetti, Millais, and Holman Hunt. She then follows his broadening view through his exposure to French and Japanese art that affected his eventual sensitive response to James McNeill Whistler. The study concludes with a personal examination of his final approach which he called 'aesthetic realism' in which he is grounded in nineteenth century realism, but also shows a twentieth century determination to examine works closely as autonomous objects. It also addresses new findings in Rossetti's own Japanese art collection, his search for a vital spirit of the past in the Classical and Gothic Revivals, and his importance as an authoritative spokesman for humanistic values in Victorian culture.
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