John Everett Millais, whose full title was Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, was an English painter and illustrator. Along with two other, he was a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a small artistic movement in England during the 19th century. The Pre-Raphaelites were looking to take art back to a form more akin to the Renaissance art of Raphael and Michelangelo. Like many of his fellow Pre-Raphaelites, Millais was concerned with intense colors and abundant details which he felt were lacking in then modern art.
Christ in the House of His Parents is one of Millais’ most famous works. The painting wasn’t as well received as it perhaps should have been. Many people didn’t agree with how Millais portrayed the Holy Family as a working class family. The holy family was almost always portrayed in a more regal, honored form by artists throughout history. But Millais brought the holy family into not only a more realistic light, but also made them more identifiable with the average individual. Mary kneels in the foreground of the carpentry shop as Christ bends down and gives her a light kiss on the cheek. Behind them Joseph and others work in the shot on a project.
Another of Millais’ paintings is Joan of Arc. This painting is at once more simplistic and more in tune with the Pre-Raphaelite vision. Joan of Arc is kneeling in this work, pale blue eyes looking up towards heaven. She in her battle armor – detailed silver breastplate and greaves with a helmet sitting on the floor to her left – and along red skirt. In her hands is a long sword, the end of which sticks out beyond the edge of the painting. It is only on Joan that the illuminating light shines. Nothing else is bathed in the bright glow. The detail and striking colors are exactly what the artists wanted to do and are much in keeping with the style of artists such as Raphael. The bright red is striking and draws the eye. The silver shines with a just-polished gleam. Every detail can be seen in this fine lines and other couplings on the armor. Even the dark wall behind her has pattern that is carved into the dark, nearly black, wood. Millais was a great painter of his day, bring a more tradition, beloved quality back to art that he and others felt was lacking in their time. Many of Millais paintings were the fines that England has ever seen and remain important, distinguished works today.