The son of a peasant. He studied painting in Paris under P. Delaroche. At the end of the 1830s-1840s, wrote eclectic style portraits, gallant scene in the spirit of the Bush, mythological compositions. After becoming friends at the end of the 1840-ies with the masters of the Barbizon school (N. V. Diaz, etc.), turned to the image of peasant life. ; his manner 1850-60-ies inherent in the clarity of the compositions, monumentalization forms of composite tools (a low horizon, closeups of the figures), a thin a valeur relationship, heavy, earthy tones of color. From mid 1850-ies Millais worked in etchings, and pastels.
Jean françois millet was born October 4, 1814 in the village Gruchy, in Normandy. His father served as organist in the local Church, a man of the future artist was a doctor and the second a priest. These facts say a lot about the cultural level of the family of the future artist. Mill from an early age worked on a farm, but received a good education, studied Latin, and all his life had a love of literature. Since childhood, the boy showed an aptitude for drawing. In 1833 he went to Cherbourg and entered the artist's Studio-portrait du Mushel. Two years later, the Mille was replaced by the coach of the new his teacher was the painter Langlois, formerly the caretaker of the local Museum. Here Millais discovered the old masters — primarily Dutch and Spanish painters of the XVII century.
In 1837 millet entered the prestigious Paris School of fine arts. He was a student of Paul Delaroche — famous painter, who wrote several theatrical paintings on historical themes. After a quarrel in 1839 by Delaroche, Jean-françois returned to Cherbourg, where he tried to obtain the means to life portraits. He has received an order for a posthumous portrait of the former mayor of Cherbourg, but was rejected because of its low affinity with the deceased. To make ends meet, the artist for some time earned that wrote the sign.
In November 1841 millet married the daughter of Cherbourg tailor Pauline Virginia It, and the young couple moved to Paris. He struggled in the grip of poverty, which was one of the reasons for the death of his wife. She died of tuberculosis in April 1844, at the age of 23 years. After her death mill again he went to Cherbourg. There he met 18-year-old Catherine Le Mer. Their civil marriage was registered in 1853, but they only married in 1875 when the artist was already dying. From this marriage at mill were born nine children.
In 1845, after spending a short time in Le Havre, millet (along with Catherine) settled in Paris.
At this time Millais abandoned the portrait, going to a small, idyllic, mythological and pastoral scenes, which was in great demand. In 1847, he submitted to the Salon a picture of "the Child Oedipus taken from the tree", which received several favorable reviews.
The position of the mill in the art world has changed dramatically in 1848. This was partly due to political events, and partly because the artist has finally found a theme that helped him reveal his talent. During the revolution king Louis-Philippe was overthrown, and power passed into the hands of the Republican government. All this was reflected in the aesthetic preferences of the French. Instead of historical, literary or mythological subjects that are popular there images of ordinary people. In the Salon of 1848 Millais showed a picture of "Waalwijk" as perfectly conformed to the new requirements.
He got a government order for the painting "Hagar and Ishmael", but without completing it, changed the subject of the order So there was the famous "Pickers ears". Received for the painting the money enabled millet to move to the village of Barbizon near Paris. This move was caused by the fact that the situation in the capital worsened. For all troubles has been added and the cholera epidemic. Barbizon also has long been considered an artistic place, there lived a colony of the artists who created the famous "bar-besansky school." "We're going to be here for some time," wrote mill shortly after his arrival in Barbizon. As a result, he lived in Barbito-not the rest of my life (not counting the period of the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71), when millet took refuge with his family in Cherbourg).
Mill. Millet also helped his friends barisonzi — first, Theodore Rousseau, the success of which is sharply delineated in the 1850s. Once Rousseau even anonymously bought in the Salon paintings of Millais, posing as a rich American.
Still, at first, the need from time to time made itself felt. Spoiled a lot of blood Millais and critics, whose attitude to his art was far from ambiguous. They became the rule to interpret the artist's paintings, based on their socio-political affiliation. The conservatives saw in the peasants a potential threat to political stability and found images of the mill rude or even provocative. Left-wing critics, by contrast, believed that his paintings elevate the image of the working man. A similar analysis glided over the surface, not revealing the true values of the art world mill.
1860-ies was for the artist much more successful. His work was in great demand among collectors. Much credit for this belongs to the Belgians for Blanca E. A. Steven-su. In 1860, the mill signed a contract with them, which was obliged to deliver annually to them for the sale of 25 paintings. Over time, he found the contract terms too onerous, and in 1866 cancelled it. But numerous exhibitions organized by the Belgians, have made the business, and the popularity of Millais continued to grow.
In the Salon of 1864, the audience warmly received a charming scene of rural life, called "Shepherd guarding the flock." Years of poverty left behind. The artist is glorious. In 1867, when in the framework of the Paris world exhibition was held the exhibition of his works, he became a knight of the Legion of honour.
Millais was always partial to the scene in the last years of his life, inspired by the example of his friend Theodore Rousseau, and worked mostly in this genre. In 1868-74, he wrote a series of paintings on the theme of the four seasons for the collector Frederick Hartman. These paintings can be called one of the pinnacles in creativity of the artist. The last work of Millais, "Winter", was never finished. It has felt the breath of death. In late 1873, mill was seriously ill. In may 1874, he received a prestigious Commission for a series of paintings from the life of St are the Same-reviewy (patroness of Paris) for a Pantheon, but managed only to make some preliminary sketches. January 20, 1875 the artist at the age of 60 years died in Barbizon, and was buried near the village schally, next to his friend Theodore Rousseau.