It’s London, 1851. The city is in the throes of the industrial revolution. But amongst the dirty red bricks and smoke stacks are three young, thrill-seeking artists – the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Spectacularly badly-behaved, and throwing a onefingered salute to the Establishment of the day, the Brotherhood are on a quest for artistic immortality that takes them into some of the lewdest, darkest and funniest corners of London.
William Holman Hunt is a Londoner from the wrong side of the tracks. Religious imagery features strongly in his painting, but this couldn’t be any further from his other main interest – boxing. He is the anchor of the group, but his steadfastness is challenged when he becomes embroiled with a young prostitute, Annie Miller. She has the looks of an angel – but a mouth like an open sewer.
Effete, naïve, very talented and with boy-band good looks, John Millais Young invariably lands on his feet, much to the profound irritation of his peers. With a brush in his hand and a beautiful woman in front of him, he can’t be bettered.
Dark-eyed, mischievous, loquacious, handsome and perennially broke, Dante Gabriel Rossetti has got serious limitations as an artist (he’s lazy as hell) but that’s not going to stop him bedding as many of his models as he possibly can, whilst keeping debtors and cuckolded husbands at bay. That is until he meets Lizzie
Siddal. Sassy, sexy, brilliant, Lizzie is the poster girl for her generation, but she’s risking it all by modelling for this bunch of bohemians.
Finally budding journalist Fred Walters spends his time chronicling the careers of the Brotherhood, creating vital press hype, often at the expense of his morals and self esteem. Ridiculed by Hunt, taken advantage of by Rossetti, and innocently disparaged by Millais, Fred has our sympathies, until things start to turn nasty…