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John Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  The Woodman's Daughter  Oil on canvas, 1851  Guildhall Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom
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Title: The Woodman's Daughter
Description:

 

 John Everett Millais (8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896)
The Woodman's Daughter
Oil on canvas, 1851
Guildhall Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom


 

John Millais focuses his painting The Woodman's Daughter (1850-1851) on the themes of seduction and unrequited love. The inspiration of the painting is a poem of the same title by Coventry Patmore that tells the story of Maud, a poor woodman's daughter, and a wealthy squire's son. The son eventually seduces the girl. Because their difference in social class prevents them marrying, Maud, in her despair, drowns their illegitimate child and goes mad. Patmore's poem is characterized by intensity and earnestness of feeling, qualities which the PRB favored and used in their own work. Patmore, a close associate of the PRB painters, was a friend of Millais.

Millais portrays the budding romance of the woodman's daughter and the squire's son when the two were children. The girl and the boy occupy the center of the piece. The squire's son solemnly extends his arm toward the girl, offering her a handful of strawberries. With eager innocence, the woodman's daughter cups her hands to receive the proffered gift. Millais explicitly shows the difference between social rank through the children's clothing. Maud wears a drab gray dress; no decoration of any sort adorns the plain material. The girl is clearly a member of the working class. The boy, on the other hand, wears a striking red outfit, complete with a dark blue belt, pristine white stockings, and black shoes. His attire provides a startling contrast to the modest clothing of Maud. Furthermore, the boy also appears at odds with the forest itself. While Maud and her father (who bends down and works to the left of his daughter in the painting) almost blend into the woods, the squire's son stands out and is out of place in the forest. The visual contrasts between the girl and boy foreshadow the tragic events to come in their relationship.

Because Millais sets the painting in a forest, the color green predominates. Millais paints the scene with the painstaking attention to detail advocated by Ruskin. This intentness to detail helps make Millais such a famous PRB artist. One can see individual leaves on the saplings and brush plants growing low to the ground. Millais also paints the foliage and bark of the trees with precision. In the upper portion of the painting, a blue sky containing white clouds lies behind the trees.
 

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John Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  Victory O Lord!  Oil on canvas, 1871  194.7 cm × 141.3 cm (76.7 in × 55.6 in)  Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, EnglandJohn Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  The Woodman's Daughter  Oil on canvas, 1851  Guildhall Art Gallery, London, United KingdomJohn Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  The Ruling Passion  Oil on canvas, 	1885  160.7 cm × 215.9 cm (63.3 in × 85.0 in)  Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
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