Updated: Wednesday, 1st April 2020 @ 9:59am

Have your say: Mancunians give their verdict on Pre-Raphaelite classic paintings in Manchester Art Gallery

Have your say: Mancunians give their verdict on Pre-Raphaelite classic paintings in Manchester Art Gallery

By James Briscoe

Manchester’s art lovers now have the chance to give their verdict on classic paintings being hosted in the city.

Manchester Art Gallery (MAG) are asking its visitors to comment on four paintings as part of its Pre-Raphaelite Experiment.

MAG says it is embarking on the project to find out what, if anything, the paintings mean to today's Mancunians.

The year-long experiment running until May 2012 gives gallery visitors the chance to share their opinion on four paintings: James Collinson's Answering the Emigrant's Letter (1850), Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The Bower Meadow (1850-1872), Sir John Everett Millais' Autumn Leaves (1856) and William Holman Hunt's The Hireling Shepherd (1851).

The four paintings, which are hanging in Gallery Six, were chosen because they represent three recurring themes in Pre-Raphaelite art: nature, storytelling and modern life.

 There is a wall in Gallery Six where visitors can comment on three questions about Pre-Raphaelite artwork.

The gallery describes the Pre-Raphaelites as “Britain’s first and best-known radical art movement emerged from within the Royal Academy in 1848.”

The experiment began on May 25 and is being overseen by gallery educator, Matt Wardle.

He said: “It's quite a brave move to question the relevance of your own (renowned) collection. However, that's what we're doing, and so far the visitor feedback is our priority.

“The feedback has been quite clear, and the experiment is evoking some very strong opinions.”

Mr Wardle added that as the Pre-Raphaelite Experiment progresses over the next year, the display will evolve, and he will be blogging about what is discovered.

One visitor said of the Pre-Raphaelites: “We are not radical anymore. We have lost inspiration, knowledge, personality and altogether we have become soulless.

“Pre-Raphaelites had energy.”

Tatiana Davey, 12, said: “Each part of each painting is a story in itself. Beautifully inspiring.”

Manchester Art Gallery is on Mosley Street, off St Peter’s Square and is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm. Entry is free.

You can also visit Mr Wardle’s blog at: http://mrmattwardle.wordpress.com/

GET UP CLOSE: 'The Bower Meadow' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti is just one of the works you can see in Manchester Art Gallery and have your say on