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The grit of this show at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum is an exploration of how the Italian Renaissance became the prism through which 19th-century artists and writers fought out their aesthetic and ethical battles. Although it includes work by those as various and little connected with Pre-Raphaelitism as the 18th-century throwback Edward Lear and the arts-and-crafts illustrator Walter Crane, its twin stars are Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones – and over both hangs the perverse, inescapable genius of Ruskin.

Read Jackie Wullschlager’s review of The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy

‘The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy’, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, to December 5

www.ashmolean.org

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