More on Annie Miller…

Annie Miller, painted by Millais

Annie Miller, painted by Millais.

Millais painted her hair darker than William Holman Hunt or Dante Gabriel Rossetti did. One facet of Pre-Raphaelite art that I find interesting is that several artists would use the same models time and time again, each painting her differently. Which raises the question: did they portray women how they saw them? Or how they wished they were?

If you didn’t know that this painting was of Annie Miller, would you look at it and know it was her compared to Holman Hunt’s Awakening Conscience or Rossetti’s Helen of Troy?

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4 Replies to “More on Annie Miller…”

  1. No, I don’t think I would know they were the same woman at first.
    But now that I know, I can see the similarity in cheekbones, but that’s it. Holman Hunt’s Awakening Conscience has a completely different face than Rossetti’s Helen of Troy…but Helen of Troy looks more similar to this photo of Millais’ portrait. I think.

  2. There is a similarity in feature, but Rossetti and Hunt were idealizing her features to make them fit the characters they had in mind, whereas Millais was simply painting her portrait. It’s one of the things I value so highly in Millais’ work, that he could really be relied on to show women the way they actually looked, with very little idealization. Even in his Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood paintings, the figures are never idealized, but instead are quite honest and sometimes unflattering portraits of the individual models.

  3. Yes, yes I agree with you sphinxvictorian. Especially in Rossetti’s case. Just look at the way he continually glamorized Jane Morris. Those bow lips!

    I’ve always wondered why Rossetti lengthened women’s necks and portrayed their arms as so muscular in several of his works. I believe he found a long neck attractive, but the muscular arms are perplexing.

  4. Did either Millais, Rossetti or Hunt ever paint Annie Miller as a child? I just bought a watercolor of a child with Annie Miller painted on the ruffle of her bed jacket. It is not in the original frame but it is old.

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