Alhough not an actual member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the paintings of Arthur Hughes demonstrate a sincere following of the movement itself. His works utilize similar techniques such as a bright palette and sharp detail, and achieved the emotional response toward which the Pre-Raphaelites strived. His painting April Love is among his most famous works and notable for its tender portrayal of emotion. The long, almost window-like construction of the painting depicts a melancholy and wistful young lady whose full length portrait commands the majority of the space. The accompanying quotation from Tennyson's The Miller's Daughter tells of love lost, again showing Hughes' connection with Pre-Raphaelite themes.

Questions

1. Ruskin especially praised Hughes' use of color and his command of detail. Why does Ruskin find Hughes' April Love to be so laudable compared to the other works and artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement?

2. Was Hughes' choice to not join the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood simply based on personal choice, or does something in his paintings demonstrate a more concrete difference between his works and those of the Brotherhood?

3. How does Hughes' use of landscape in April Love serve to "intensify the emotional situation of the figures?" (Wood, 53)

4. Hughes coupled April Love with a quotation from Tennyson's "The Miller's Daughter":

Love is hurt with jar and fret,
Love is made a vague regret,
Eyes with idle tears are set,
Idle habit links us yet;
What is love? For we forget.
Ah no, no.

In what way do the image and text interact? Does the understanding of the image necessitate the inclusion of this quotation, or does the poem instead serve as reinforcement of a meaning that can have been gleaned otherwise from the image alone?


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Last modified 16 September 2004