An expert from the Victoria and Albert Museum has been putting students and visitors at Wisbech Grammar School in the picture about a ground-breaking group of nineteenth century artists.
Head of adult programmes Joanna Banham appeared at the school at the invitation of the Wisbech & Fenland Museum, which shared the collection bequeathed by Chauncy Hare Townshend in 1868 with the South Kensington Museum before it became the V & A.
In the latest in a series of enrichment lectures at the school, she explained to a 40-strong audience how members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had challenged the Victorian art establishment from 1848 to 1853, opposing contemporary painting which aped Renaissance art and harking back to the artists of the fourteenth and fifteen centuries who predated Raphael.
Their subjects were often religious, but the artists attempted to put them into a real context, and they made extensive use of symbolism, with lilies representing pure, virginal womanhood and the trellis stood for the cross and crucifixion.
The speaker shed light on a number of significant works of art that were completed before the movement broke up and the painters went their separate ways.