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This was the mocking title given to a group of German artists, who painted mainly religious subjects. The group, known as the Lukasbruder, or Brotherhood of Saint Luke, was founded in Vienna in 1809 by Friedrich Overbeck and Franz Pforr. The Brotherhood was committed to regenerating German religious art in imitation of the works of Durer, Perugino and Raphael.

Overbeck and Pforr went to Rome in 1810 and were soon joined by other artists. One of the group's aims was the revival of fresco as it had been practised during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Nazarenes were particularly admired by the Pre-Raphaelites.