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Published on Aug 24, 2011
We visit the Old Library of the Oxford Union -- the debating society of Oxford University -- which was built in 1850s as new debating hall in a Gothic style. In 1857 it became the setting for what is sometimes described as a second Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, as seven artists worked together on a series of murals. This project was organized by Rossetti, who by this time was a close friend of Morris and Burne-Jones. The other artists involved were Val Prinsep, John Hungerford Pollen, Arthur Hughes and John Rodham Spencer Stanhope. William Riviere and his son Briton painted the three panels that were left over when Rossetti and his friends abandoned the work at the end of the Long Vacation of 1857.