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John Everett Millais

Saint Martin's Summer


John Everett Millais
Southampton 1829 – London 1896


Saint Martin's Summer




Oil on canvas


151 x 107 cm


Gift of Lord Strathcona and family, inv. 1927.325


Western Art

Millais left the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, of which he was a founding member, to join the English Aesthetic movement. Honoured by the Royal Academy, he was in demand as a portraitist. During hunting and fishing trips in Scotland, however, he painted a few landscapes. With astounding subtlety, this canvas gives a detailed view of a body of water around Rumbling Bridge, near Dunkeld, Perthshire. This highly personal work harks back to the Pre-Raphaelite style of his youth in the meticulousness of execution, the study of nature, the perspective and the attention to detail. This nature scene filled with water and rocks reflects the precepts of his old friend, the critic John Ruskin, who was the movement’s theorist. Beyond the apparently objective illustration of a late autumn mild spell and tranquil days foretelling peace, Millais fills this Nature setting with the distant celestial light, evoking fin-de-siècle Symbolist visions.

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