By Andrew Walker
BBC News Profiles Unit
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at London's Royal Academy opens on Saturday.
Rosetti's Fiammetta is a highlight of the exhibition
The show proves to be an important and timely insight into a Victorian artistic phenomenon.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood burst upon the British artistic scene in the mid-19th Century, creating an enticing blend of Christian spirituality and veiled eroticism which, though it has often gone in and out of popular favour, still captivates today.
Lord Lloyd-Webber has long been a collector of Pre-Raphaelite works, and this exhibition presents a rounded - and riveting - view of this particular genre.
Of particular significance are drawings and portraits by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, attesting to his mastery of pencil, chalk, watercolour and oil. A late work, A Vision of Fiammetta, is richly-coloured and exudes an enticing sensuality.
There are also numerous works by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt, whose Morning Prayer crystallises the moral piety central to the Pre-Raphaelite vision.
John Edward Brett painted the highly-detailed Val D'Aosta
Sir Samuel Fildes' The Village Wedding is theatrical, opulent and quietly humorous, as is Marcus Stone's The Railway Station, and John Edward Brett's landscape The Val D'Aosta is a mature and crafted work.
But this exhibition is not just about the Pre-Raphaelites: among other thrills are Canaletto's highly-detailed vision of Old Horse Guards, a Picasso and my personal favourite, a wonderful Stanley Spencer self-portrait.
Whatever else may be said of him, Andrew Lloyd Webber has a superb taste in paintings and I cannot recommend this thoughtfully-presented exhibition highly enough.
Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, is at the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, London, from 20 September to 16 December.