I’d barely made it into town from the airport when it was time to stagger to the Tate Gallery (or Tate Britain if you prefer) for the John Everett Millais exhibition, which has been running since September.
Regular readers will know that I adore the Pre-Raphaelite artists and Millais is one of my favourites. The exhibition is gorgeous, much more than I thought it would be, many more rooms anyway. The works were split into different parts and you were able to wander in between. There were also some artifacts, such as the artist’s easel and brushes, chair etc. which were also quite interesting to see.
I saw my favourite painting ‘Ophelia’ and also looked out for ‘The Black Brunswicker’ and ‘Mrs Perugini’ as the latter are both modelled by Kate Dickens, later Collins and Perugini, daughter of Charles Dickens.
There were many drawings, which were beautifully done, but not my favourite things to see, I love the light, colour and life in Millais’ paintings which I can’t really see in these.
I’d forgotten that it was Millais who painted that famous image of the ‘Princes in the Tower’, and ‘Bubbles’ who is so well known from advertising these days (Pears). It was amazing to see that some family members had preserved the shoes and bonnet worn by one of the child sitters, and they are still in family hands today.
All in all, it is a wonderful exhibition and I recommend that you go and see it if you can. Even if you can’t Millais’ paintings live all over the world, and I’m sure there’s probably one near you that you can visit at a museum or art gallery. That’s the thing really, I fell in love with ‘Esther’ and soon she’ll leave the country of her birth to return home again, that’s one thing that makes me slightly sad about exhibitions…