British 1829-1896 Sir John Everett Millais Galleries After his marriage, Millais began to paint in a broader style, which was condemned by Ruskin as "a catastrophe". It has been argued that this change of style resulted from Millais' need to increase his output to support his growing family. Unsympathetic critics such as William Morris accused him of "selling out" to achieve popularity and wealth. His admirers, in contrast, pointed to the artist's connections with Whistler and Albert Moore, and influence on John Singer Sargent. Millais himself argued that as he grew more confident as an artist, he could paint with greater boldness. In his article "Thoughts on our art of Today" (1888) he recommended Vel??zquez and Rembrandt as models for artists to follow. The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower (1878) The Boyhood of Raleigh (1871)Paintings such as The Eve of St. Agnes and The Somnambulist clearly show an ongoing dialogue between the artist and Whistler, whose work Millais strongly supported. Other paintings of the late 1850s and 1860s can be interpreted as anticipating aspects of the Aesthetic Movement. Many deploy broad blocks of harmoniously arranged colour and are symbolic rather than narratival. Later works, from the 1870s onwards demonstrate Millais' reverence for old masters such as Joshua Reynolds and Vel??zquez. Many of these paintings were of an historical theme and were further examples of Millais' talent. Notable among these are The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower (1878) depicting the Princes in the Tower, The Northwest Passage (1874) and the Boyhood of Raleigh (1871). Such paintings indicate Millais' interest in subjects connected to Britain's history and expanding empire. His last project was to be a painting depicting a white hunter lying dead in the African veldt, his body contemplated by two indifferent Africans. This fascination with wild and bleak locations is also evident in his many landscape paintings of this period, which usually depict difficult or dangerous terrain. The first of these, Chill October (1870) was painted in Perth, near his wife's family home. Many others were painted elsewhere in Perthshire, near Dunkeld and Birnam, where Millais rented grand houses each autumn in order to hunt and fish. Millais also achieved great popularity with his paintings of children, notably Bubbles (1886) ?C famous, or perhaps notorious, for being used in the advertising of Pears soap ?C and Cherry Ripe.
oil on canvas