John Everett Millais, an English painter, born in Southampton, June 8, 1829. When nine years old he gained a medal from the so-ciety of arts, and was placed in Mr. Sass's preparatory school of art in London, whence at the age of 11 he was transferred to the antique school of the royal academy. In 1843 he gained the medal for drawing from the antique. In 1846 he exhibited his first picture at the academy, "Pizarro seizing the Inca of Peru," and in 1847 obtained the gold medal for the best oil picture, his subject being "The Tribe of Benjanim seizing the Daughters of Shiloh." At this period he was induced to reject the academic, rules which then prevailed, and to adopt the principles of the " Pre-Raphaelite school," of which he was one of the original members. The first picture painted by him in the new style was "Isabella," from Keats's poem, exhibited in 1849. In 1850 appeared his " Ferdinand lured by Ariel," and a mystical picture of Christ, and in 1851 "Mariana in the Moated Grange," " The Return of the Dove to the Ark," and "The Woodman's Daughter." So rigorously did he follow the realistic principles involved in his new conceptions of art, that the simplicity at which he aimed was decried as an evidence of baldness and poverty, and his pictures were declared to be utterly deficient in the sense of beauty.
But their unquestioned power challenged attention, and it was conceded that the naturalism which the artist sought to embody in his works was of a higher order than the literal reproduction of nature. His efforts at religious symbolism found few admirers, and were not repeated. "The Huguenot" and "Ophelia," exhibited in 1852, increased his reputation; and in the succeeding year his "Proscribed Royalist" and " Order of Release." Some of his later works are: " A Dream of the Past: Sir Isumbrus at the Ford " (1857); " The Heretic" (1858); "Vale of Rest" and "Spring Flowers" (1860); "The Black Brunswicker" (1861); "My First Sermon" (1863); "Charley is my Darling" (1864); "Joan of Arc" and "The Romans leaving Britain" (1865); " Sleeping," " Waking," and " Jephthah " (1867); and "Winter Fuel" (1874). Millais was a contributor to the " Germ" (1850), a short-lived periodical, devoted to an exposition of the views of the pre-Raphaelites. He has sometimes been engaged in the illustration of books and periodicals.