Perhaps, without the work of this English artist, the world community would not have known about the existence of such a direction in painting as the Brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites. Millet became one of the founders of this society, showing the world this amazingly beautiful and inspired painting.
The Pre-Raphaelites can be treated differently, and love and hate, but it is simply impossible to remain indifferent. The future brush master was born in 1829 in Southampton. His talent manifested itself early and the boy already at the age of 9 began to study drawing. When the parents realized the undoubted artistic talent of the child, they moved to London so that young John could continue his studies with the best masters of that time. It happened in 1838.
Two years later, the boy entered the Royal Academy of Arts. Since at that time he was only 11 years old, he became the youngest listener for the entire time the educational institution.
The training took 6 years, but long before graduation, John demonstrated his talents and abilities. 2 years after admission, he received a silver medal for drawing, and 4 more years later his picture “Pizarro captures the Peruvian Incas” is the best at the summer exhibition at the academy. The following year, his painting “Attack of the Benjamin's Knee on the Daughters of Siloam” is awarded a gold medal.
The year 1848 is significant both for Millet himself and for world art. He meets Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Holman Hunt. So the Brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites was created, which became one of the most controversial trends in 19th-century painting.
The artist’s canvases differed from the work of his comrades in excessive detail and always gravitated towards a realistic image. However, among his works there are paintings that can be considered the hymn of the Pre-Raphaelites. These include, for example, the famous Ophelia, which depicts the body of a drowned girl floating in a surprisingly beautiful backwater with floating flowers and a white flowering rosehip - a symbol of innocence.
Although Millet's paintings in this style were accepted at exhibitions, a new direction in painting took root with difficulty and was often perceived with hostility. When Millet got married, he had to think about how to support himself, his wife and eight children who appeared one after another. He put his painting on a kind of conveyor and refused to use the technique and style of the Pre-Raphaelites. Oddly enough, this almost immediately brought considerable dividends. Millet's clear, graphic style with meticulous attention to detail met the taste of the wealthy public of those years, and he began to make pretty good money. His income reached 30,000 pounds per year, which was at that time a huge amount.
In addition to wealth, the art of the painter and portrait painter brought recognition to the master in the form of the title of baronet, which he received the first of all the artists of Great Britain. This happened in 1885, and the following year he became president of the Royal Academy of Arts.
The master died in 1896 at the age of 67 years. To this day, he remains one of the most respected English artists, and his paintings are constantly copied and replicated in commercial images.