Millais was born in Southampton and began to study drawing nine years old. In 1838, when it became obvious his ability, the family moved to London. At the age of 11 Millais entered the Royal Academy of arts, becoming the youngest student in the history of the Academy. For fifteen years he already had a good command of the brush, in 1846, was the audience with the historical picture "Pizarro take prisoner Inca Peruvian". In 1848, in one of the exhibitions Milles acquainted with Holman hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and with them founded the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
John Everett Millais was born in Southampton on 8 June 1829. He was the youngest of three children to John William Millais and his wife Emily. Parents of the future artist came from wealthy families. John Sr. was originally from the island of Jersey, located in the English channel, and her mother’s family lived in Southampton, where her father for many years kept a large saddlery shop. Childhood johnny Jr. spent partly in Southampton, partly on the island. He grew up a quiet, obedient boy, and was educated at home with him mom worked. To draw johnny started with four years. According to family legend, at the age of six years he lived on the island, which is closer to France than to England, did some drawings of French soldiers. They were amazed and took these pictures of the barracks to show his comrades. Some officers questioned the abilities of six children, made a bet — and, of course, were lost.
Parents johnny decided that they should help your son to develop his talent, and when the boy was nine years old, gave training to the local artist. After a few lessons he said that he had nothing to teach this gifted child.
Then the parents Milles, taking care letter of recommendation to the President of the Royal Academy, sir Martin Archer Shea, in 1838, moved to London. That, of course, at first I was skeptical about little johnny, but looking at his album of drawings, changed his mind.
After preliminary training at the Art school of Sassari. Henry, eleven-year-old teenager in 1840 became a student of the Royal Academy of arts. He was the youngest graduate of the Academy in its history, it was called Baby. Johnny soon met with icy William Holman hunt, and drugoe them was destined to last a lifetime. After some time to a pair of inseparable friends joined another student, eccentric by nature, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
At the Academy johnny studied for six years, confirming their brilliance. In 1843 he received a silver medal for drawing, in 1846, his painting was selected for the summer exhibition of the Academy, where he earned positive reviews. This is successful for Milles time, he began a series of failures associated with the entry into the Association of young ambitious artists "the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood".
This group was organized in 1848, seven idealistically minded young people — four artists, two art historian and a sculptor. They thought modern British art far-fetched, out of touch, insincere, and set out to revive it, choosing a role model for Italian painting of the XV century, the period before Raphael (hence the group name). The pre-Raphaelites had no solid program and merely said that artists should look to nature and not seek other sources of inspiration.
In addition to Milles, the group included Holman hunt and Rossetti. They well complement each other: the hunt was considered a thinker and theorist, Rossetti infected all his irrepressible energy, and Milles… He was the most prominent among them.
In 1849, the friends took part in the exhibition artists of the pre-Raphaelites. Initially, their work was favorably received by critics, but soon the attitude of the pre-Raphaelites changed, with most sharp arrows struck the Millais and his painting "Christ in the parental home". Especially sharply responded about Charles Dickens (which, however, did not prevent him to later become a friend and great admirer of Millais). He was blamed for being too irreverent attitude to the image of the Holy Family, was fascinated with small details and not focused on the spiritual content of the painting. In support of the pre-Raphaelites were only famous art critic John Ruskin.
And yet Millais was depressed, upset, because the painting "Christ in the parental home" was his first failure. After this incident he decided to leave the religious subjects, and undertook to write romantic costumed scenes which enjoyed great success at the exhibitions of the Royal Academy of arts. Among them paintings "Ophelia" (1851−52), "the Huguenot" (1851−52), "Order of dismissal" (1852−53). New Milles widely recognized, so that in 1853 he was elected a member of the Royal Academy — 24 years, at that age, which could be officially eligible.
At about the same time John Ruskin invited Millais and his brother William to spend the holidays in Scotland with him and his wife EFFIE. The brothers stayed four months, the artist managed to write an excellent portrait of Ruskin in the background of the Scottish landscape and still — falling in love with his wife. I must say that the marriage of Ruskin and EFFIE has been a failure from the start, and in 1854 she left her husband… for John Millais. This meeting culminated in the marriage and the birth of eight children.
Millais was a loving, caring father and loved to write his children, and later grandchildren. The eldest daughter, EFFIE posed for him for the painting "My first sermon", and another famous painting — "bubbles", which was used for the first time in history! — for advertising soap company "pier", is a painting the artist wrote with grandson Willie, decades later became Admiral sir William James.
Meanwhile, the name of Millais has gained more and more popularity, the artist had fans among the richest people in England. His paintings were published in the form of engravings and were sold in huge numbers. At the end of 1850-ies he said about himself and as a book Illustrator. In 1863, at the age of 34 years, John Millais was elected an academician of the Royal Academy of arts. Few painters managed to get this title at such a young age. In the 1870s, the artist became engrossed in portrait painting. Of course, he first painted portraits — your family, friends, but now they came to him, rich and noble customers. Good income allowed his family to buy a big house in the prestigious London district of Kensington (now the mansion called the House of Millais and it is the headquarters of the Fund of national art collections). In 1879 the Milles moved to a luxurious mansion, specially built for them. In this house the artist spent his last years.
In 1885 Millais was granted the title of baronet, becoming the first artist to be so honored. By the time his annual income was about £ 30,000 fantastic for those times the sum. The life of Millais turned out the best, marred her only one thing: after the divorce from EFFIE Ruskin, the artist had no right to represent his wife Queen Victoria.
In January, 1896 died the only artist whose glory in England can be compared with the glory of Millais, Frederic Leighton. With the death of his freed occupied before a post of the President of the Royal Academy of arts, and John Millais offered to take this place. He agreed, despite the fact that he was already terminally ill: diagnosis: throat cancer. Over the short months in his new position, Millais managed to commit an act that could not be better shown his amazing human qualities: he was removed from the annual exhibition of the Academy his painting to replace it with the work of a young unknown artist.
13 Aug 1896 John Everett Millais, died in his home. At the request of the Royal Academy his lavish funeral held at the Cathedral of St. Peter’s where the tomb of the artist carried many famous people, among them was his old friend Holman hunt as well as the famous actor sir Henry Irving.
Published in 1898 the book, dedicated to John Milles, the author wrote that his hero was "cordial, honest and kindest among all English gentlemen".