John Everett Millais (1829-96) is widely regarded as one of the most important artists of his generation. He was a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and was later president of the Royal Academy of Arts. Less well-known are his 400 designs for illustrations, made over a period of 30 years. He was immensely varied both in his style and in the types of literature he tackled - he illustrated poetry by Tennyson and Christina Rossetti, novels by Anthony Trollope and Harriet Martineau, children's books, books of sheet music and religious works, culminating in his celebrated The Parables of our Lord in 1864. Through reproductions of drawings, watercolours, wood-engravings, and printed books and periodicals, this book reveals the variety and quality of Millais' work in this often overlooked area of his oeuvre. Millais is without doubt the most significant practitioner in this field of all the Pre-Raphaelite artists.
Victorian specialist Paul Goldman examines the importance of Millais' distinguished contribution to the history and development of British book illustration, while Tessa Sidey considers the acquisition of a major collection of Millais drawings by Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. This book, which accompanies an important touring exhibition of Millais' illustrations and designs for illustrations at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Leighton House, London, includes a complete catalogue of the Millais holdings of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.