John Everett Millais - Mancoff, Debra N. - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

Series Information
Studies in British Art

Published for the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art  

John Everett Millais

Beyond the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

  • Edited by Debra N. Mancoff
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Out of Print.

The long and stellar career of John Everett Millais (1829-1896) has been framed in terms of his rise to notoriety as an original member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood followed by a compromising descent into comfortable success as a popular painter and leading figure in the Royal Academy. But this dismissal of Millaisís post-Raphaelite work overlooks more than forty years of artistic endeavor and distinction. In this book, nine scholars reexamine Millaisís entire career from a variety of perspectives, arriving at a new vision of his place in the history of British art and finding that fame and recognition did not represent the end of this important Victorian artistís development.

The contributors consider the whole fabric of Millaisís work, seeking the patterns of continuity through his career. They acknowledge the significance of Millaisís association with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood yet place that brief phase into the context of his entire body of work. Exploring such topics as Millaisís position among contemporary artists; his active interests in theater, literature, and science; his life-long love of nature; his role as a celebrity and a popular artist; and his enduring fascination with the poignant specter of mortality, the book presents a portrait of Millais not limited by the parameters of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. It is a portrait of a supremely gifted artist, a rival of Frederic Leighton, and a counterpart to Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Debra N. Mancoff is a freelance writer and scholar-in-residence of the Newberry Library in Chicago.