In the 19th century in France Joan of Arc converted into a national hero fighting for the liberty of her country, which means she became the ancestor, the great grandmother of all patriots. In other countries she became popular too, even in England the homeland of her former enemies. But there her militant and patriotic aspects never reached great importance. There artists were much more interested in the devoted young woman. To the romantics united in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood she seemed to have been a kind of female Percival on his quest for the Holy Grail.
Joan of Arc (1863) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
Joan of Arc (1865) by John Everett Millais (1829–1896)
Joan of Arc (early 20th century) by Annie Louisa Swynnerton (1844-1933)
It’s evident that in the focusing on the religious aspect these English romantics are abandoning the traditional history painting approaching instead the style of altarpieces.
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