Not-Particularly-Daily Quote #50

“Yet Pre-Raphaelitism never quite went away. It acquired an armor-plated niche in the English imagination. Its present triumph, symbolized by the Tate show, has nothing to do with with dubious cultural cliches such as “postmodernist irony.” There is no irony in Pre-Raphaelitism. Everything there, from the pale, swooning damozels down to the last grass stem, is the product of unutterable sincerity. Those painters would rather have died of lockjaw than paint anything that was not direct, heartfelt and didactic.”

– Robert Hughes on the Pre-Raphaelites. It struck me for his non-pejorative use of the term “didactic”, which my lecturers generally use as term of criticism, meaning, I think, something like “plain” or “too obvious”, and pushing always towards more obscurity disguised as sophistication.

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