A portrait which led to one Victorian England’s greatest scandals has been brought by Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. A love triangle began in 1853 when the artist John Everett Millais joined his mentor, the revered art critic John Ruskin, for a working holiday in Scotland.
While working on a portrait of Ruskin, Millais and the sitter’s wife Effie fell in love. The Ruskin marriage ended in a humiliating and very public divorce. Millais was a founding member of the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood.
The portrait now joins the Ashmolean’s impressive collection of work by this group of artists. The Ruskin affair is the subject of a new film written by Emma Thompson. ‘Effie Gray’, starring Thompson, Dakota Fanning and Julie Walters, is set for release in autumn. It follows the controversial relationship between Ruskin and his teenage bride.