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John Everett Millais was an English painter and book illustrator (1829 - 1896). A child prodigy who was hard-working as well as naturally gifted, he became the youngest ever student at the Royal Academy Schools when he was 11, and although he suffered some temporary setbacks in his twenties, his career was essentially one of the great Victorian success stories. In 1848, with Rossetti and Holman Hunt, he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and had his share of the abuse heaped against the members until Ruskin stepped in as their champion.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded at his family home in London, at 83 Gower Street (now number 7). Millais became the most famous exponent of the style, his painting Christ in the House of His Parents (1850) generating considerable controversy. By the mid-1850s Millais was moving away from the Pre-Raphaelite style and developing a new and powerful form of realism in his art. His later works were enormously successful, making Millais one of the wealthiest artists of his day. While early 20th-century critics, reading art through the lens of Modernism, viewed much of his later production as wanting, this perspective has changed in recent decades, as his later works have come to be seen in the context of wider changes and advanced tendencies in the broader late 19th-century art world.
Millais's personal life has also played a significant role in his reputation. His wife Effie was formerly 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. ... He and Effie eventually had 8 children.