Blind - John Everett Millet. 53.4 x 80.8 cm
In 1854, John Everett Millet, one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Society, visited Sussex. It is here that he begins his, perhaps, the most dramatic and painful picture of “The Blind Girl”, which he will finish only two years later.
At first, Millet was inspired by the landscape of Sussex, and it was here that he painted green fields intersected by a small moat, delightful after the rain sky and a double rainbow. Much later, when Millet moved to Scotland, two figures of children appeared on the canvas. This is a rather non-standard move, because usually people are the main thing in the picture, and only after that the background and landscape are written. Millet, in fact, always started with the background.
He constantly wrote from nature - this concerned both nature and people. As models, the artist chose his wife Effie and her sister Isabella. After the painter replaced Effie with Matilda Proudfoot.
The plot of the work is rather sad. The viewer sees a blind girl with a little sister who makes money for her life in the only way possible for her - she plays a small accordion. They are dressed very poorly and simply.
But not even in this flashy poverty, darned dirty skirts, is the whole tragedy of work. It is the landscape that is the "talking" element. Beautiful nature, full of colors, is inaccessible to the blind eyes of the girl. Brightness and colorfulness against eternal darkness ... A girl can only feel - now she turned her face to the sun to feel the heat, and her hand is about to touch the grass.
Millet's painting is a sharp social protest against the most common problems of England in the 19th century - vagrancy, poverty, lack of support for the disabled. The English law enforcement officers detained such beggars, beggars, the artist suggested looking at them as victims. Pity and a sense of compassion - that is what Millet felt for them. The viewer feels the same way, looking at his piercing picture.