Millais, John Everett (1829-1896) by Scholes, Robert

John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896) A child prodigy in art, John Everett Millais entered the Royal Academy Schools at age 11, and exhibited at the RA from age 17. There he became friends first with , and afterwards , and these three founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. Millais quickly moved from a mannerist to a realistic style in keeping with the Pre-Raphaelite ideal, and was coached by John Ruskin who took him to Scotland to paint in 1853. Millais produced the most well-known portrait of the famous critic in 1854, and incidentally married the wife of Ruskin after the latter’s marriage was annulled. (She was the model for the soldier’s wife in ). Holman Hunt Rossetti The Order of Release The marriage of the John and Effie Millais proved to be a catalyst in the evolution of his style which started in the early 1860s. Millais said that it was no longer economically possible for him to spend the whole day painting an area Thus he changed to a broader, looser, more spontaneous style of painting, with a strong element of sentiment, which was perfectly in keeping with the popular taste of the day. This change has been seen by many critics as a great artist selling-out, and becoming a mere populist. These attacks persist to this day. Millais also became one of the most successful portrait painters of Victorian Britain. no larger than a five shilling piece.

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