A recently discovered cache of Pre-Raphaelite art is being exhibited at Aidan Meller Gallery
's Broad Street space, Oxford.
The beautiful drawings had lain neglected for the best part of a century before surfacing at a local auction house. Aidan Meller bought the works as a job lot and has since been studying them.
Many of these enigmatic cartoons - designs for stained glass windows - were made by leading artists at Heaton, Butler and Bayne; and James Powell and Sons. Reflecting the radical Pre-Raphaelite style, these companies created inspired, technologically innovative additions to religious experience, elevating British design on the global stage.
The exhibition is a chance to discover how the sensual aesthetics of Pre-Raphaelitism - once deemed an outrage in academic circles - eventually came to pervade artistic and religious spheres. The visionary work of Pre-Raphaelite artist and window designer Robert Turnill Bayne features strongly in this show, epitomising the boldness and universality of these artists' approach to the sacred.
Also featuring in this exhibition are rare drawings by John Everett Millais, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Pre-Raphaelitism has strong connections in Oxford: key figures such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris lived locally, and the Burne-Jones windows at Christ Church is a particular highlight of the movement's impact on the city.
The reappearance of this rare collection in Oxford, which is attracting the interest of leading experts in the field, is a unique opportunity to experience an exciting and influential period in art history afresh.