John Everett Millais (1829-1896) was one of the most celebrated figures of Victorian art. As a young man, he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt. In later years, he rose to wealth, acclaim, and social prestige as a landscapist, illustrator, and painter of subject and genre pictures and as the most successful British portrait painter of his generation. This lavishly illustrated book, published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, is the first comprehensive survey of Millais's portraits. It is also a historically important record of High Victorian England, containing the artist's memorable images of such leading political and cultural figures as Gladstone, Disraeli, Tennyson, Ruskin, Carlyle, and Lillie Langtry. The book includes 100 color reproductions as well as essays by eminent scholars that place Millais's work in the context of his public and private life, making this an authoritative and visually compelling study of the artist's extraordinary contributions to portraiture.
Peter Funnell begins the book by describing Millais's astonishing popularity and the artist's public persona, examining his practice as a portraitist and assessing the view common among later critics that Millais's mature work failed to fulfill...