John Everett Millais

Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, was an English painter and illustrator, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. He was a child prodigy who, aged eleven, became the youngest student to enter the Royal Academy Schools; the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded at his family home at 83 Gower Street. Millais became the most famous exponent of the style, his painting Christ in the House of His Parents generating considerable controversy, painting the embodiment of the school, Ophelia, in 1850–51. By the mid-1850s, Millais was moving away from the Pre-Raphaelite style to develop a new form of realism in his art, his works were enormously successful, making Millais one of the wealthiest artists of his day, but some former admirers including William Morris saw this as a sell-out. While these and early 20th-century critics, reading art through the lens of Modernism, viewed much of his production as wanting, this perspective has changed in recent decades, as his works have come to be seen in the context of wider changes and advanced tendencies in the broader late nineteenth-century art world, can now be seen as predictive of the art world of the present.

Millais's personal life has played a significant role in his reputation. His wife Effie was married to the critic John Ruskin, who had supported Millais's early work; the annulment of the marriage and her wedding to Millais have sometimes been linked to his change of style, but she became a powerful promoter of his work and they worked in concert to secure commissions and expand their social and intellectual circles. Millais was born in England in 1829, of a prominent Jersey-based family, his parents were Emily Mary Millais. Most of his early childhood was spent in Jersey, to which he retained a strong devotion throughout his life; the author Thackeray once asked him "when England conquered Jersey." Millais replied "Never! Jersey conquered England." The family moved to Dinan in Brittany for a few years in his childhood. His mother's "forceful personality", she had a keen interest in art and music, encouraged her son's artistic bent, promoting the relocating of the family to London to help develop contacts at the Royal Academy of Art.

He said "I owe everything to my mother."His artistic talent won him a place at the Royal Academy schools at the unprecedented age of eleven. While there, he met William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti with whom he formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in September 1848 in his family home on Gower Street, off Bedford Square. Millais's Christ in the House of His Parents was controversial because of its realistic portrayal of a working class Holy Family labouring in a messy carpentry workshop. Works were controversial, though less so. Millais achieved popular success with A Huguenot, which depicts a young couple about to be separated because of religious conflicts, he repeated this theme in many works. All these early works were painted with great attention to detail concentrating on the beauty and complexity of the natural world. In paintings such as Ophelia Millais created dense and elaborate pictorial surfaces based on the integration of naturalistic elements; this approach has been described as a kind of "pictorial eco-system."

Mariana is a painting that Millais painted in 1850–51 based on the play Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare and the poem of the same name by Alfred, Lord Tennyson from 1830. In the play, the young Mariana was to be married, but was rejected by her betrothed when her dowry was lost in a shipwreck; this style was promoted by the critic John Ruskin, who had defended the Pre-Raphaelites against their critics. Millais's friendship with Ruskin introduced him to Ruskin's wife Effie. Soon after they met, she modelled for his painting The Order of Release; as Millais painted Effie, they fell in love. Despite having been married to Ruskin for several years, Effie was still a virgin, her parents realised something was wrong and she filed for an annulment. In 1855, after her marriage to Ruskin was annulled and John Millais married, he and Effie had eight children: Everett, born in 1856. Their youngest son, John Guille Millais, became a naturalist, wildlife artist, Millais's posthumous biographer, their daughter Alice Alice Stuart-Wortley, was a close friend and muse of the composer Edward Elgar, is thought to have been an inspiration for themes in his Violin Concerto.

Effie's younger sister Sophie Gray sat for several pictures by Millais, prompting some speculation about the nature of their fond relationship. After his marriage, Millais began to paint in a broader style, condemned by Ruskin as "a catastrophe." It has been argued that this change of style resulted from Millais's need to increase his output to support his growing family. Unsympathetic critics such as William Morris accused him of "selling out" to achieve popularity and wealth, his admirers, in contrast, pointed to the artist's connections with Whistler and Albert Moore, influence on John Singer Sargent. Millais himself argued that as he grew more confident as an artist, he could paint with greater boldness. In his article "Thoughts on our art of Today" he recommended Velázquez and Rembrandt as models for artists to follow. Paintings such as The Eve of St. Agnes and The Somnambulist c

Brian Howell

Brian Howell is an author and teacher living and working near Tokyo, Japan. He has published three novels and one short story collection since 1990, his first novel, The Dance of Geometry, his first collection, The Sound of White Ants, were both reviewed favourably by Toby Lichtig in The London Magazine. His novels focus on Dutch seventeenth-century painters with an interest in optical devices, his stories have elements of the weird and magical realism. The Dance of Geometry, The Toby Press, 2002 The Curious Case of Jan Torrentius, Zagava, 2017 Sight Unseen, Zagava, 2019 The Sound of White Ants, Elastic Press, 2004 The Stream and The Torrent: The Curious Case of Jan Torrentius and The Followers of the Rosy Cross, Vol.1, Zagava, 2014 [An earlier collection of novellas which appeared in a different format in the 2017 novel, The Curious Case of Jan Torrentius. The Vanishing Point, Darklands 1, Hodder, UK, 1991 A Friend in the Country, The European, 1993 Dutch Interior, Panurge 19, 1993 The Window, Critical Quarterly, 1993 Meeting Julie Christie, Time Out Net Books, 1995 Green To Blue, The Third Alternative, 2000 New York Movie, Linnaean Street, 2002 The Removal, Carriage House Review, 2002 Alsiso, The Alsiso Project, 2004 Indulgence, Smokelong Quarterly, 2004 Disappearing, FRIGG, 2005 The Counterfeit Smile, The Paumanok Review, 2005 The Study of Sleep, eNovella, Wind River Press, 2005 The Transfer, Night Train, 2008 The Sermon, Night Train, 2008 The Tower, Elasticity: The Best of Elastic Press, ed. Andrew Hook, 2017 The Shore, Infra Noir, 2018 The Mask, Milk, 2017 (reprinted in Best British Short Stories 2018, ed. Nicholas Royle, 2018 Article on Vermeer-inspired novels Historical Novel Society review of The Dance of Geometry Review of The Curious Case of Jan Torrentius in Seventeenth Century News Author interview on Bibliophage website

Lidia (given name)

Lidia is a feminine given name. It is the Greek, Polish and Spanish transcription of the name Lydia. Notable people with the name include: Lidia Alexeyeva, Russian basketball coach Lidia Argondizzo, Australian politician Lidia Bastianich, American chef, television presenter and restaurateur Lidia Bobrova, Russian film director Lidia Borda, Argentinian tango singer Lidia Chmielnicka, Polish volleyball player Lidia Chojecka, Polish middle distance runner Lidia Elsa Satragno, Argentine entertainer and politician Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg, Polish politician and Member of the European Parlement Lidia Gueiler Tejada, the first female President of Bolivia Lidia Grychtołówna, Polish pianist Lidia Ivanova, Russian print and television journalist, television announcer and writer Lídia Jorge, prominent Portuguese writer Lidia Klement, Soviet singer Lidia Kopania, Polish singer Lidia Poët, the first modern female Italian advocate Lidia Quaranta, Italian actress Lidia Ravera, Italian writer, journalist and screenwriter Lidia Rudnicka.