Discover five stunning Pre-Raphaelite prints.
Which is your favourite?

1. Venus verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)

The sitter in Rossetti's painting is one of his favourite models, Alexa Wilding. She portrays Venus, the Roman goddess of love, surrounded by flowers. The arrow she holds in her hand is poised ready to pierce hearts, the apple represents the fruit that tempted Eve and the roses and honeysuckles are symbols of desire. This attractive art print is the perfect romantic gift for Valentine's Day or a wedding anniversary. If you're looking for a gift for a special someone, let us know in the comments and we'll share our recommendations.

Photo credit: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum


2. The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)

The Bower Meadow again features Alexa Wilding and the model Marie Spartali Stillman. Both stare dreamily into the distance as two female figures dance in the background. This publicly owned painting hangs in the Pre-Raphaelite section of Manchester Art Gallery. We donate all profits from print sales to the credited collection. You can help support your local gallery and their free programmes by donating through Art UK, purchasing products or simply by sharing this content with friends.

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery


3. The Hireling Shepherd by William Holman Hunt (1827–1910)

The Hireling Shepherd was painted at a location near Ewell, Surrey and depicts a quintessential English rural scene. The shepherd attempts to court the attention of the young woman and, whilst distracted, his flock wander into a neighbouring field. At the time, the newspaper Illustrated London News objected to the 'fiery red skin' and 'wiry hair' of Hunt's models. Hunt asserted that he meant the couple to symbolise the pointless theological debates which occupied Christian churchmen while their 'flock' went astray due to a lack of proper moral guidance.

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery


4. A Flood by John Everett Millais (1829–1896)

Here we present the print of Millais' painting A Flood as a tongue-in-cheek gift for a new baby's cot room. The picture shows a wooden cradle and its occupant being carried away by the currents of a flood. A terrified kitten sits at the front of the vessel overlooking the obstacles ahead. In the distance a pair of figures can be seen aboard a boat, perhaps scanning the waters for a bairn adrift.

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery


5. The Lady of Shalott by William Holman Hunt (1827–1910)

Hunt's colourful image was inspired by the following poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The picture vividly illustrates the model's hair thrown wildly into the air as she looks down at her loom watching the textile unravel.

'She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
'The curse is come upon me,' cried
The Lady of Shalott.'
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott (1842)

The Lady of Shalott is available as a framed or unframed art print from the Art UK shop. Did we list your favourite Pre-Raphaelite artwork? Let us know in the comments or explore more images on our Pre-Raphaelite theme page.

Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery


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