John Everett Millais painted this self-portrait when he was just 18 years old. He had already been a member of the Royal Academy of Art Schools for 7 years, having been admitted at the age of 11 (he remains the youngest person ever admitted to the Schools).
Millais' self-portrait was painted just two years before he helped found the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but the style of the painting seems light years away from the fine detail evident in Lorenzo and Isabella. I have to admit that if I didn't know who had painted this portrait, I would have had a hard time guessing who it was! Perhaps Millais was experimenting with new techniques when he created this portrait, because the brushwork seems much for "sloshy" than in his later work--or even than in his earlier work.
Tomorrow: a story from Millais' youth, and a closer look at one of his earliest masterpieces, Pizarro Seizing the Inca of Peru.
image courtesy of Tate Gallery