Portrait of Effie Gray: John Everett Millais

John Everett Millais: Portrait of Effie Gray

John Everett Millais portrays in Portrait of Effie Gray (1873) his now-wife with great dignity seated in a cushioned chair holding a magazine.

Effie Gray, Millais’ wife, was formerly the wife of Victorian art critic John Ruskin. However, the previous marriage was not consummated and Effie, an author, and artist in her own right took up with Millais which caused a social scandal in England at the time.

Millais glories in the various textures of Effie’s dress, in the rich wine-colored velvet and the delicately painted lace around her wrists. The portrait is the three-quarter length and focuses also on the sitter’s mood – perhaps momentarily distracted by us from her musing as her head turns from the plane of her body towards us.

John Everett Millais’s Portrait of Effie Gray is housed in the Perth Museum and Art Gallery in Perth, Scotland.

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