While it has been agreed upon that Pre-Raphaelism influenced the hispanic ?modernismo?, few investigation has been made with regard to Pre-raphaelite tendencies in Rubén Darío?s ?Azul??, which, published in 1888, marks the beginning of the ?modernismo? movement. The aim of this paper is to examine the Pre-raphaelite elements in this work. In 19th century South America the twenty-one year old Darío is being confronted with radical changes and social problems, which evolve due to the rapid economic growth of his time. It is in this context, that the young writer produces ?Azul??, which mirrors these changes. In order to explore the parallels between Darío?s text and Pre-raphaelite works, this paper draws on paintings, writings, as well as underlying theories, such as those of John Ruskin. The analysis includes three aspects, which set the tone for both ?Azul?? and Pre-raphaelite works. The first chapter examines the female imagery, which is similarly constructed by both Darío and Pre-raphaelite artists. They share the same taste with regard to the ideal female beauty; furthermore, the artists concentrate on stereotypes of womanhood, such as the ?femme fatale? and the ?femme fragile?. The following section focusses on the conflict between escapism and social criticism, two contrasting poles that mark ?Azul??. Just like the Pre-raphaelite artists, Darío offers his readers the possibility to escape from modern world, as well as he includes explicit criticism on the negative aspects of economic growth. The third chapter consists of an examination of the references to art in ?Azul??, compared to the Pre-raphaelite ideal of combining different art forms in order to create one, ideal piece of art. Both Darío and the Pre-raphaelites draw on medieval and ancient traditions, and make use of a complex system of symbols, allegories and metaphors, which contribute to the vivid character of their artwork.