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By 1848 Christina Rossetti's brothers Gabriel and William had become disillusioned with contemporary painting. Alongside a small group of other young artists and writers, including John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, they set out to reform British art. Calling themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), members of the group aimed to emulate the technical rigour and emotional sincerity they found in early Italian and Flemish paintings.

Although never a formal member of the PRB, Rossetti jokingly referred to her 'double sisterhood' and was closely involved in the group's creative work, publishing poems in the PRB's journal The Germ and modeling for pictures. When her work began to be published in magazines her first illustrators were Millais and Frederick Sandys, another close associate of the PRB.

Painting of a man with scythe

Arthur Hughes, The Mower, oil on canvas

RA 1865 (554)