The Romantic ideal of Man against the Universe has inspired epics in several languages. In 1848 a group of British artists took this ideal to heart, rebelling against the artistic conventions of the Royal Academy and choosing to go their own way. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones and others looked back to the Middle Ages for inspiration, creating scenes of knights and beautiful damsels that espoused great beauty, strong craftsmanship and intricate realism. The Pre-Raphaelites (they drew inspiration from the time before Renaissance painter Raphael) succeeded in creating works of lasting beauty and also directly inspired the Arts and Crafts movement. Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum, a touring exhibition of these lush works (recently the subject of a Smithsonian magazine feature), opens Sunday, February 18, at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org) and remains on display through Sunday, April 29. Admission is $4 to $6 (free on Fridays).
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 18. Continues through April 29