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John Everett Millais

Millais, the greatest Victorian Artist
My Christmas treat to myself is this wonderful monogaph of the life and works of John Everett Millais. The cover portrait of a young Sophie Gray (his sister in law) is a stunning yet surprising choice when the obvious cover photo would have been of his most recognisable painting "Ophelia," which I may write about later. The author is clearly in awe of the artist and his book is a necessary correction to many misconceptions about his art.

Millais was an infant prodigy in the true sense of the word, but although there have been many in history and art schools are always full of precocious talents who disappear, or just stop creating, or get stuck in mannered art, his story is unusual in that he realised his potential fully; he never stopped learning, he experimented when he could, and shifted his art right until the end of his life when he could so easily have stuck creating what sells best. The trajectory he followed wasn't that un…

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