Rossetti's Reverie

Anyone who saw the popular exhibitionPre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolours at The Ashmolean in 2021 will be delighted to hear it’s coming back. (Book here

Read our review here:

Cut short after five massively popular weeks due to Covid, the much applauded exhibition will finally get its proper moment in the summer as The Ashmolean announces it has had to cancel its July show, ‘Russia! Icons & the Avant-Garde‘ due to Ukraine conflict

John Ruskin (1819 –1900) Study of a Velvet Crab, c. 1870 Graphite, watercolour & bodycolour on grey-blue paper

Ashmolean staff across multiple departments have jumped into action to get the Pre-Raphaelites ready in time

Dr Xa Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean, says: ‘The appalling and tragic events in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed and threatened on both Russia and the UK have made the exhibition logistically impossible.

Years worth of work have already gone into staging the Russian exhibition but luckily The Ashmolean had an ace up their sleeve in the form of Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolours so have salvaged the situation magnificently.

John Ruskin’s Partridge

“It is with regret that the Ashmolean has been obliged to withdraw the Russian art exhibition which had been planned and developed over many years. However the opportunity to present this world-renowned collection of Pre-Raphaelite works on paper will be welcomed by many visitors who were unable to see them last year when the exhibition was curtailed due to the pandemic,” Xa adds.

Which means that Ashmolean staff across multiple departments have jumped into action to get the Pre-Raphaelites ready in time.

“They have pulled together another beautiful presentation of these amazing works of art,” Xa adds, “and as our popular Pre-Raphaelite exhibition of 2021 was also affected by international events and ran for just five weeks last summer, we are really pleased to have the opportunity to allow many more people to see it as originally planned.

Rossetti’s The Daydream

The exhibition is curated by Christiana Payne, Professor Emerita of History of Art, Oxford Brookes University. She says: “I am so pleased that the Ashmolean team has been able to adapt its plans to bring Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolours back. Works on paper, such as these, offer an intimate and profound insight into the work of this revolutionary group of British artists. I encourage everyone to take this chance to see them in the exhibition galleries this year.”


PRE-RAPHAELITES – DRAWINGS & WATERCOLOURS runs at The Ashmolean from 15 July–27 November 2022. Book here