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“Order of Liberation”, John Everett Millet – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Order of Release – John Everett Millet. 1852-1853. Canvas, oil. 102.9 x 73.7 cm
The Jacobite revolt is one of the most dramatic events in the history of England and Scotland. The adherents of James II, the Scots, tried to restore the Stuart dynasty, having removed the current ruler George I. Having suffered a crushing defeat and suffered heavy losses, the Jacobites were defeated. Although today, without claiming, the Scottish Stuart dynasty exists and leads an alternative line of succession.

It was not the bloody massacre of Essex, nor any other military event that John Everett Millet decided to portray, recalling the affairs of a hundred years ago, but an intimate story – the reunion of the Jacobite prisoner family. But this scene is no less emotional than any military-dramatic narrative.

A faithful woman waiting for her husband is the protagonist of the picture. Her look is stubborn, and a slightly noticeable smile is read on her face. In her arms a woman holds a baby. She, the stronghold of the family, faithfully waited for her husband from prison. Former prisoner dressed in traditional clothes – checkered kilt. He is wounded, a broken arm hangs in a bandage. The exhausted soldier clung to the shoulder of this fragile, but strong woman. He is joyfully greeted: his wife reassuringly holds on to a sore hand, and a dog happily fusses around. The red-haired boy sleeps peacefully on his mother’s shoulder – he still does not know about family reunion. The picture evokes positive emotions, this one as the final scene of a big melodrama, which ended in a happy resolution.

Millet chose the wife of his main follower, the famous critic Ruskin – Effie as a model for the picture. It was during the work on the canvas, between the attractive Effie and the artist, love broke out. Effie left Ruskin, with whom she had never had intimacy for 5 years of marriage, and left for Milla. Later, William Milbourne James will write a book about this unusual love triangle, naming it after the picture, which became the exact reference to the new relationship – “The Order of Liberation”."

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