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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Artist Millais Lived & Died here
This is where prolific artist Millais lived and died.
Location: 2 Palace Gate, Kensington, London, W8 5NG
Description: By the 1870s Sir John Everett Millais 1829-1896) was the most successful artist in Britain, earning an impressive 30,000 annually and gaining international stature through exposure at a succession of Worlds Fairs.
In 1877 he moved here where, in a specially designed commodious studio, he expanded his portrait practice and his claim to be the painter of the Empire, despite a notable absence of many royal commissions.
His overall output was extraordinary in 1881, for example, he showed eight works at the Royal Academy, and nearby on Bond Street two at the rival Grosvenor Gallery, and nineteen in a novel solo exhibition at the Fine Art Society.
Portraiture was both the engine of his prosperity and a marker of his artistic success. It allowed him to spend much of the autumn and winter in increasingly lavish rented lodges in Perthshire and to support his family of eight children in fine style.
Millaiss sitters included Britains eminent and powerful politicians, poets and writers, his female artistic friends whom he often painted as gifts, and members of the rising middle class who looked to traditions from the past to enhance their social standing. In their fashion sense, drama, lighting, energetic gazes, and evocative technique based on a study of earlier artists, Millaiss portraits successfully captured this period when the British Empire was at its most extensive and apparently unassailable.
A plaque was added here in 1926.
Tagged in this Tour: Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood