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.  He became ARA as early as 1853, then RA and finally, in the year of his death, President of the Academy.
   He was one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. Millais quickly moved from a mannerist to a realistic style in keeping with the Pre-Raphaelite ideal. In 1853, he went to Scotland and was coached by John Ruskin and incidentally married the wife of Ruskin after the latter's marriage was annulled. She was later be his model for the soldier's wife in The Order of Release. His St Isumbras at the Ford, showing the knight and two oversweet children on an oversize horse, induced the young Frederick Sandys to draw a famous caricature featuring Millais as the knight, Rossetti and Holman Hunt as the children, and the donkey as John Ruskin.
   Millais was also a notable illustrator during the 1860s. Some of his important illustrations include the 18 for Moxon's Tennyson.
   Ophelia and The Vale of Rest  by Millais can be seen at the Tate Gallery, The Blind Girl in Birmingham, Autumn Leaves in Manchester, Lorenzo and Isabella at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, St Isumbras at the Ford and The Black Brunswicker at the Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight, The Bride of Lammermoor is in Bristol, Convalescent and Brighteyes are in the Aberdeen Art Gallery, and Return of the Dove to the Ark at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Portraits by Millais can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery. A very early work, before Millais became a Pre-Raphaelite, is in Hove.

The Knight Errant, 1870