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Millais Hardcover – February 22, 1999
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
John Everett Millais is still thought of mostly as a Pre-Raphaelite painter, but a much longer portion of his career was devoted to painting the portraits of the Victorian rich and famous. Not only did this prove extraordinarily lucrative--Millais earned what by today's standards would be millions from his portraits--it offered one of the most talented 19th-century painters the chance to fashion powerful and memorable images of the people of his age. This book is the catalog to the 1999 Millais Portrait exhibition debuting at the National Gallery in London and traveling around the United States. It is a much more handsome production than most catalogs. The pictures are beautifully reproduced, and in place of the often bland catalog commentary are essays from four leading art historians on Millais's early and Pre-Raphaelite portraits and his portraits of children, women, and men of power. Altogether, these writings provide an absorbing historical and critical context for the pictures. It is in the contrast between a Millais portrait of an old woman in black (Isabella Heugh, 1872) and the more famous portrait by James Whistler of his mother (Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1, 1871) that Millais's talent as a portraitist is precisely articulated. Isabella Heugh is not only full of character but the canvass itself is dynamic and involving with its potent color scheme and diagonal composition. Next to it, Whistler's famous image seems flat and denuded. --Adam Roberts
"The essay authors are frank in their assessment of a painter often charged with succumbing to the allurements of fashion; at the same time, they are effective in placing him in the context of art history as well as the political, social, and aesthetic realities of his time."--Choice
"[A] finely and expensively produced catalogue."--Lindsay Duguid, Times Literary Supplement
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