Judged by the standards of his own time, the career of John Everett Millais (1829-96) was an unqualified success. Beginning as a child prodigy, he entered the Royal Academy Schools aged 11, and along with Holman Hunt and Rossetti was a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The first Pre-Raphaelite picture he produced, The Carpenter's Shop, had a dramatic effect on the critics; Charles Dickens described his portrayal of the child Christ as a 'hideous, wry-necked, blubbering, red-haired boy in a night-gown.' Millais later became the quintessential English gentleman artist, a Baronet and president of the Royal Academy, producing some of the most famous images of the age. At the time of his death, however, there were some who believed that Millais had betrayed his extraordinary talent and vision by pandering to popular taste for the false rewards of money, status and Victorian respectability. In more recent times, Millais's career, after the disbanding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, has been presented largely as an anti-climax. Yet it is these imbalances and diverse viewpoints that make a study of Millais so compelling.
Author Christine Riding analyses his artistic career, his critics and his audience, exploring the broader issues which preoccupied Victorian Britain on the subject of art itself.
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(241mm x 171mm x 6mm)
Publisher: Tate Publishing
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Author Biography - Christine Riding
Christine Riding is a curator at Tate Britain specialising in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British art.