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John Everett Millais

Born: Southampton, 8 June 1829
Died: London, 13 August 1896
Nationality: English

wealthy family


at Henry Sass’s private art school; Royal Academy Schools (1840)


1843 – wins Royal Academy (RA) silver medal

1846 – debuts at RA with Pizarro Seizing the Inca of Peru (Victorian & Albert Museum, London)

1847 –Tribe of Benjamin Seizing the Daughters of Shiloh (private collection) wins gold medal

1848 – founds Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt

1849 - Isabella exhibited at RA

1852 – exhibits Ophelia and A Huguenot (private collection) at RA to high public and critical acclaim; Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood disbanded

1853 – elected as an ARA; visits Scotland with John Ruskin and his wife Effie

1855 – marries Effie Ruskin

1857 – contributes to Edward Moxon’s illustrated edition of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Poems along with Rossetti and Hunt

1863 – publication of Millais illustrations, Parables of Our Lord in the magazine Good Words; published as a separate volume in 1864; elected as a Royal Academy member

1870s—80s – paints the portraits of prominent figures including: Thomas Carlyle (1877); Benjamin Disraeli (1881) Sir Arthur Sullivan (1888, all National Portrait Gallery, London)

1885 – created a baronet

1910 – elected PRA


Scotland (1853)

Commissions from: 

Thomas Combe; John Ruskin: B. G. Windus; William Graham; Samuel Mendel; Albert Grant

Important Artworks: 

Isabella, 1849 (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool)

Christ in the Carpenter’s Shop, 1850 (Tate, London)

Souvenir of Velazquez, 1868 (Royal Academy, London)

Web resources

smarthistory: Millais, Ophelia

Metmuseum: Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood