Cover image for Millais : portraits
Millais : portraits
Funnell, Peter, 1956-
Publication Information:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press ; London : National Portrait Gallery Pub., [1999]

Physical Description:
224 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 28 cm
General Note:
Published to accompany the exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 19 February to 6 June 1999--T.p. verso.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND1329.M55 A4 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



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 his youthful promise. Leonée Ormond examines Millais's early portraits, from his precocious boyhood sketches to his magnificent portrait of Ruskin (1853-54) and his paintings of Ruskin's wife, Effie, who famously left her husband to marry Millais. Malcolm Warner interprets Millais's portraits of children--including the elegiac painting Autumn Leaves (1855-56) and the melancholy Nina Lehmann (1869)--as reflections of Millais's nostalgic ideas about the naturalness, innocence, and beauty of childhood. H. C. G. Matthew assesses Millais's portraits of men of power, which include paintings of four Prime Ministers (Gladstone, Disraeli, Salisbury, and Rosebery). Kate Flint discusses Millais's portraits of women, which ranged from likenesses of family and friends to glamorous paintings of the rich, aristocratic, and beautiful. Each essay is followed by its own thematic catalogue of portraits.

The elegantly written essays and stunning reproductions are supplemented by Warner's extensive documentation about individual works of art, drawings from Millais's sketchbooks, and photographs of the artist in his studio. In its words and images, in its scholarship and its accessibility to the general reader, this is an exceptional book about one of the most influential artists of the nineteenth century.

Author Notes

Peter Funnell is Curator of the Nineteenth-Century Collection at the National Portrait Gallery. He has previously curated exhibitions at the gallery on Michael Faraday, Christina Rossetti, and David Livingstone and has published on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British art. Malcolm Warner is Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art and is currently preparing the catalogue raisonné of Millais's works. Recently he curated The Victorians, British Painting 1837-1901 at the National Gallery, Washington. Leonée Ormond is Professor of Victorian Studies at Kings College, London. H. C. G. Matthew is Professor of History at the University of Oxford and Editor of the New Dictionary of National Biography. Kate Flint is University Lecturer in Victorian and Modern English Literature and a Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 6
Acknowledgementsp. 8
Introduction Millais's Reputation and the Practice of Portraiturep. 11
1 Early and Pre-Raphaelite Portraitsp. 37
2 Portraits of Children: The Pathos of Innocencep. 103
3 Portraits of Men: Millais and Victorian Public Lifep. 137
4 Portraits of Women: On Displayp. 181
Bibliographyp. 216
Picture Creditsp. 219
Indexp. 220