Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Prosperine
There's nothing really wrong with pre-Raphaelite painting except for some conflicts in conception and execution.

The personalities of the artists required them both to revolt against High Renaissance illusionism, as they understood it, and to portray what they saw as the delicate beauty of Medieval and Early Renaissance art. To revolt against Renaissance illusionism, they were driven to copy from nature both the hard lines of objects and their minutest details. (An incidental, theoretical problem: As the gentleman who taught me life drawing pointed out, just try to find a clear outline in nature.) To return to a concept of beauty, as opposed to what they saw as a false naturalism, they were tempted to portray the softest and most delicate of objects: plants and romantically conceived women.

This is where conflict breaks the system. People aren't usually willing to accept hard lines as the basis of representing soft, delicate objects. The emphasis on literal details also caused the artists to exaggerate those details, which in turn produced distortions and thus weakened the beauty.

The lady above is a fine example. The fascination with detail has given her oddly thick lips. It has also given her staring and aggressive eyes.

The lines are too hard, and the colors are too pure.

Hard to believe that the model was the painter's mistress, isn't it?

Spaces, not commas, please!