They called it the Pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood. Formation of the brotherhood grew out of the artists reaction to the stagnate art in England. They referred to it as frivolous art and a debased form of history painting.
Raphael, and other History Painters of the Renaissance, considered the style the noblest form of painting. Classical History, Mythology and the Scriptures formed their ideas. Added to this in the 18th century, were the works of Dante, Shakespeare and Milton.
A dearth of new ideas in the 19th century motivated the Brotherhood to try something new. For too long, art students had been taught to reproduce art of the previous generations. Meaningless, boring art reigned.
A second generation of Pre-Raphaelites included the accomplished artists and friends of the founders: James Collinson, F.G. Stephens, Thomas Woolner, William Michael Rossetti, brother of Dante Gabriel.