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John Everett Millais Hardcover – 27 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (27 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0714839779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714839776
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 3.8 x 29.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jason Rosenfeld
Distinguished Chair and Professor of Art History,
Marymount Manhattan College

Degrees
B.A. Duke University
M.A. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Ph.D. Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Jason Rosenfeld has been a member of the faculty at Marymount since fall 2003. Dr. Rosenfeld received his B.A. from Duke University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University with a dissertation titled "New Languages of Nature in Victorian England: The Pre-Raphaelite Landscape, Natural History and Modern Architecture in the 1850s." He has previously taught at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, New York University, and Queens College, New York. Academic interests include British art, specifically Victorian, modern architecture, and contemporary art.

He has published many articles and reviews on British art and architecture and contemporary art and has been a frequent reviewer for Art in America and ARTNews. He was a co-curator of the exhibition, "The Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print" at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York, in 1995, and contributed to the "Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection" exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2003. He also contributed an essay to the catalogue of Marcel Dzama's exhibtion at the David Zwirner Gallery, New York, in 2005. Recent research interests have revolved around the life and career of the Victorian painter Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and his monograph on that artist for Phaidon Press Ltd. will be published in 2012. In addition, he co-curated the major exhibition on Millais at Tate Britain, London, the National Gallery of British Art, with Alison Smith, Senior Curator of Paintings, which traveled to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, followed by venues in Fukuoka and Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition was seen by in excess of 660,000 visitors. He is also co-curator of the exhibition "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde" to be seen at Tate Britain in September 2012, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., in February 2013, the Pushkin Museum, Moscow in June 2013, and the Mori Art Gallery in Tokyo in September 2013.

Dr. Rosenfeld has been named Distinguished Chair at Marymount Manhattan College for the period 2009-2012. In addition, he is the lead contributor to a monograph on the contemporary American artist, Stephen Hannock, published by Hudson Hills Press in the summer of 2009. And he curated and wrote the catalogue for the exhibition, "Stephen Hannock, Recent Paintings: Vistas with Text," held at Marlborough Gallery, New York, 25 April - 2 June, 2012.

Product Description

Review

'admirably thorough, carefully researched ... Reproductions are of good quality and comfortably placed in the text. Generous margins make it easy to read. Its six chapters track this immensely gifted, entirely Victorian, artist from his precocious youth to his death at sixty-seven in 1896. ... Rosenfeld is well briefed [...] he has had the opportunity to look hard at the pictures, investigate the extensive published and manuscript material and to visit the places where Millais painted. His leading aim is to disprove the commonly held view that Millais 'sold out' in the mid-1850s. ... . ...Rosenfeld's analysis of paintings is thorough... he has a keen eye and describes the pictures carefully. ... [the] impressive late works give weight to Rosenfeld's thesis.'
The Burlington Magazine

'sumptuous ... a feast of glowing images and a wealth of information about the man himself'.
Daily Mail

'the first monograph to appraise [Millais'] complete career ... magnificent. ...lavishly illustrated .... Rosenfeld argues, rightly, that Millais didn't sell out when he moved away from Pre-Raphaelitism but went on doing marvellous work. There are great portraits (Gladstone, in Christ Church, and Ruskin, in the Ashmolean), luminous Scottish landscapes which Van Gogh admired, and much more.'
Oxford Times

About the Author

Jason Rosenfeld is Distinguished Chair and Associate Professor of Art History at Marymount Manhattan College, New York. Academic interests include British art, specifically Victorian, modern architecture, and contemporary art. He was a co-curator of the exhibition, ‘The Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print’ at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York (1995), and contributed to the ‘Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2003). He co-curated an exhibition on Millais at Tate Britain, London, which travelled to Amsterdam, Fukuoka and Tokyo (2007–9), and was co-curator of the exhibition ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-garde’ at Tate, London (2012), which travels to Washington, DC, Moscow and Tokyo through 2013.

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Smith on 7 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is most welcome since there is no other recent book that surveys in such detail the whole output of Millais in the context of his life. The Tate exhibition catalogue is valuable but does not have an over-riding theme (Millais). Rosenfeld's aim is to show that Millais was an artist "bent on continuous stylistic and thematic originality throughout his [long and] extremely productive career." In doing so, Millais's works "established new realms of endeavour in the period" that led to developments adopted by several later artists. When you finish this very readable book, you will find yourself largely convinced by the author. He has an uphill battle because a common view is that, after his Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces, Millais's work degenerated into routine. Rosenfeld calls this "a pernicious work of art-historical fiction" which he dispels convincingly by close examination of his art. And what wonderful art it is!
Assessed objectively, his later paintings are magnificent and original, especially the Scottish landscapes, but the problem is that we always see them in the context of what must surely rank among the world's great masterpieces: his early Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Rosenfeld writes perceptively about `Isabella', a "transcendent picture about the intense ardour of a constricted and restrictive love.... It is the summit of realism, its codification and crystallization." He goes on the write: "The picture engages..... in its concentration on human connection, however restricted and awkward, and through a pained clarity of form and features." Rosenfeld agrees with Holman Hunt, who considered it the most wonderful picture that any youth under twenty years of age ever painted.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful By tobykin on 18 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Biography on John Everett Millais by Jason Rosenfeld is enjoyable enough with many illustrations. I just wish it was not quite so big. It is a reference book really and I will dip into it quite often. I find it a bit tedious at times but on the whole it meets my approval.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Stunning!!! 27 Aug. 2012
By Jeffrey J. Avila - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received my copy today and am thoroughly pleased with it. I have only skimmed the writing but the images are beautiful and represented in full color. So many of them I have not seen before!!! When I buy an art book I often judge it by a quote from Gustav Klimt. "Anyone who wants to find out about me - as an artist, which is all that's of interest - should look attentively at my pictures." I am often disappointed with art books that print the images half the size of the page utterly drowning them in white borders or representing them in black and white (this is a crime in this day and age). None of that here!!! Congratulations to Mr. Rosenfeld on this beautiful, must own book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Perceptive account of one of England's greatest artists 7 Sept. 2012
By A. D. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is most welcome since there is no other recent book that surveys in such detail the whole output of Millais in the context of his life. The Tate exhibition catalogue is valuable but does not have an over-riding theme (Millais). Rosenfeld's aim is to show that Millais was an artist "bent on continuous stylistic and thematic originality throughout his [long and] extremely productive career." In doing so, Millais's works "established new realms of endeavour in the period" that led to developments adopted by several later artists. When you finish this very readable book, you will find yourself largely convinced by the author. He has an uphill battle because a common view is that, after his Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces, Millais's work degenerated into routine. Rosenfeld calls this "a pernicious work of art-historical fiction" which he dispels convincingly by close examination of his art. And what wonderful art it is!
Assessed objectively, his later paintings are magnificent and original, especially the Scottish landscapes, but the problem is that we always see them in the context of what must surely be among the world's great masterpieces: his early Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Rosenfeld writes perceptively about to `Isabella', a "transcendent picture about the intense ardour of a constricted and restrictive love.... It is the summit of realism, its codification and crystallization." He goes on the write: "The picture engages..... in its concentration on human connection, however restricted and awkward, and through a pained clarity of form and features." Rosenfeld agrees with Holman Hunt, who considered it the most wonderful picture that any youth under twenty years of age ever painted.
Rosenfeld has interesting things to say about Millais and women. In commenting on `The Order of Release' he writes that the woman's face (that of his future wife, Effie Ruskin) is remarkable in its inscrutability and that "Millais seems to have been making his reputation on imaging women with distant out-of-body gazes: Mariana, Ophelia, The Bridesmaid, this picture, and Eve of St Agnes.... It is as if the artist is making a study of female psychology under duress, of varying forms of trance." This interpretation would fit with the famous painting `The Huguenot' where surely Rosenfeld is wrong to say that the searching gaze of the woman is into the face of her lover; close inspection shows that she is gazing beyond him into space. There is an erotic element in some of his paintings of young women, notably `Autumn Leaves', which Rosenfeld calls "his most lovely picture", and in the portrait of his wife's sister, `Sophie Gray' that adorns the cover of the book. He describes the latter portrait as an "entrancingly radiant depiction of incipient maturity, of adolescence on the wane, of sexual potential" and considers it one of the finest realistic portraits of the nineteenth century. `Autumn Leaves' also introduces a theme that was going to obsess Millais for the rest of his life, nostalgia coupled with the concept of mortality. We are here moving into the early phase of Aestheticism and with two other paintings of groups of women (`Spring') which includes a scythe, traditional symbol of mortality, and `Sisters' that Rosenfeld compares with Whistler's `White Girl'.
Rosenfeld's interpretations of Millais's works are penetrating and fascinating all through this book. They give much food for thought even if you don't always agree with them. His descriptions of the wonderful late landscapes are particularly enlightening, as are his comments on the many portraits Millais did in order to earn a living. You are left with a feeling of complete admiration for what this great artist achieved and with a deeper understanding of his significance in the history of art and of our time.
On a technical level, the book is well-produced with many excellent large reproductions. The smaller reproductions are not always so successful but on the whole the pictures are sharper and have a better colour balance than in the Tate catalogue. For more detail of the portraits, the catalogue of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery can be consulted (Millais: Portraits).
We have been fortunate recently to have magnificent books on three of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, Rossetti (Rossetti: Painter and Poet), Burne-Jones (The Last Pre-Raphaelite: Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Imagination) and now Millais. Perhaps it is time for a book on Holman Hunt.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
small reservations 21 Nov. 2013
By jpcooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A well produced book with a good representation of Millais works. I have one complaint, however. Many of the paintings depicted (in particular the works of artists who are being contrasted to Millais) are presented too small to fully appreciate. I don't understand why publishers continue to produce books with this glaring flaw. With all do respect to the authors of these art books, regardless of how noteworthy their text, it is the art that people are interested in. If space is at such a premium, and additional pages out of the question, edit out more of the writing and enlarge the images.

Why this should be so difficult to understand is beyond me. This is a complaint that has been leveled against such works for ages. If there is a rational reason for these editorial decisions I'd sure like to know what it is. Suggestion to art book publishers - convinced that this habit is not likely to change, please include a magnifying glass in all future volumes.

Don't let this peripheral rant dissuade you from purchasing this book. Millais is one of the key figures of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Phaidon has added a worthy addition to the available works on this important movement. This volume filled a noticeable void in their series of Pre-Raphaelite artists and they are to be commended for making them available.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
indispensable for lovers of British Victorian art 5 Sept. 2012
By eb1225 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book about a sadly neglected artist whose reputation may be on the upswing. There are an abundance of very high quality pictures, most full-page size, as well as a text that is highly informative about both the paintings and Millais's life. I found the analysis of paintings often quite insightful. Let's not forget the dramatic soap opera story of the Ruskin / Effie / Millais triangle, notorious for the fact that Ruskin would not consummate the marriage and Effie eventually found love with Millais. The book includes ravishingly beautiful full-page reproductions of many of Millais's masterpieces, such as Isabella, Christ in the House of his Parents (that outraged Dickens), Mariana, Ophelia, Autumn Leaves, The Vale of Rest (which I wish were larger), Hearts are Trumps, Chill October, Halcyon Weather, and Dew-Drenched Furze. It's a perfect way to get acquainted with a very great British painter. The book is a steal at this price.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great survey of Milais's work - 4 Jan. 2014
By Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a couple of books on the pre-Raphealites, and most of the time they include the same paintings, and it is difficult to get a deeper survey of any of the main artists work. This book rights that wrong, for Milais at least, a highly talented and largely forgotten painter today. It includes much of his later work, which is often ignored (with the exception of the notorious 'bubbles' painting- which curiously enough, has a long and complex history in painting!)
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