The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in John Millais's parents' house on Gower Street, London in 1848.
At the initial meeting, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and William Holman Hunt were present. Hunt and Millais were students at the Royal Academy of Arts.
They had previously met in another loose association, a sketching-society called the Cyclographic Club. Rossetti was a pupil of Ford Madox Brown.
He had met Hunt after seeing his painting The Eve of St. Agnes, which is based on Keats's poem. As an aspiring poet, Rossetti wished to develop the links between Romantic poetry and art. By autumn, four more members had also joined, to form a seven-member-strong Brotherhood.
These were William Michael Rossetti (Dante Gabriel Rossetti's brother), Thomas Woolner, James Collinson, and Frederic George Stephens.
Ford Madox Brown was invited to join, but preferred to remain independent. He nevertheless remained close to the group.Some other young painters and sculptors were also close associates, including Charles Allston Collins, Thomas Tupper, and Alexander Munro.
They kept the existence of the Brotherhood secret from members of the Royal Academy.