Sir John Everett Millais was an English painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His prodigious 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. His early works were painted with great attention to detail, often concentrating on the beauty and complexity of the natural world based on the integration of naturalistic elements. This style was promoted by the critic John Ruskin, who had defended the Pre-Raphaelites against their critics. Later works, from the 1870s onwards demonstrate Millais's reverence for old masters such as Joshua Reynolds and Velázquez. Many of these paintings were of an historical theme and were further examples of Millais's talent.
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