Glen Finglas and a Victorian Scandal

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A later portrait of Effie Gray by MillaisAmid shock and scandal, Effie and Millais married in 1855 and they lived happily ever after! She bore him eight children and Millais gradually abandoned the obsessive attention to detail that characterised Pre-Raphaelite work. He became more ‘commercial’ and successful thus providing a steady income for the family. (Unsurprisingly, his paintings were frequently criticised by Ruskin in print.)

Effie may have been the wife of a high-profile painter moving in ‘high society’ but not until the very end of Millais’ life was she was never invited to any function if Queen Victoria was to be present  – as one other curious outcome from the romance and scandal of Glen Finglas. Subsequently, the story became the subject of several dramatic works, including an opera and even a tv series, ‘Desperate Romantics’.

The painting, John Ruskin at Glenfinlas, is in a private collection but has in the past been publicly exhibited.  Millais never painted anything like it ever again.

The most important site in the history of British landscape painting is now in the care of the Woodland Trust.