By Wendon Blake

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This German style had its origins in the renewed interest in the early Italian Masters pioneered earlier in the century by the group of German painters known as the Nazarenes. Led by Cornelius, Friedrich Overbeck (1789— 1869), Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872), Franz Pforr (1788-1812) and Wilhelm Schadow (17641850), in 1809 they formed an association called the Brotherhood of St Luke, named after the patron saint of painting. They moved to Rome in 18 10 where they lived together in an austere, semi-monastic community, inspired by pre-Reformation Christianity.

Believing that his pictures were badly hung there, he often arranged for them to be shown elsewhere. The climax of his work was 36 a trilogy of huge canvases. The Great Day of His Wrath, The Last Judgement and The Plains of Heaven, completed in 1853 shortly before 58 - 38 Sometimes this was expressed through imaginary visions such as The Woodnymph's Hymn to the Rising Sun (RA 1845); but more often he reverted to the pure landscapes of his younger days, as in The Evening^ Gun (first version RA 1848), which was praised for its deep solemnity by the French critic Theophile Gautier.

Richard and Samuel Redgrave noted that 'pictures to suit the English taste must be pictures to live by; pictures to hang on the walls of that home in which the Englishman spends more of his time than do the men of other nations, and loves to see cheerful and decorative. ' The dominant form of the period was not the public mural or large gallery picture, but the portable easel painting, intended to be hung at home and which could be bought and sold as an article of private property. Paintings Writing in 1866, 35 Just as Victorian social relations were governed by a strict code of acceptable behaviour, so Victorian painters avoided subjects that The nude figure had no part in genre was acceptable for fairy subjects and also in the context of high art where it was sanctioned by classical myth, by the precedent of the Old Masters, and by the moral lessons inherent in history painting.

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