The 1879 painting titled “Portrait of William Ewart Gladstone” was produced by John Everett Millais, an artist known for his detailed and realistic style. The portrait depicts Gladstone, who was a prominent figure in British politics at the time, wearing a formal frock coat and bow tie while gazing sternly into the distance.
The piece required five separate hour-long sittings to complete, with Millais focusing on capturing every detail of the subject’s features. The painting is significant not only for its impressive level of detail but also because it showcases Millais’ skill as an artist and his ability to capture the essence of his subjects.
The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1879 and purchased shortly after by Agnew’s for £1000. Today, it is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection and remains an important piece in art history due to its representation of a major historical figure during a pivotal moment in British politics.
Overall, this portrait exemplifies Millais’ proficiency in creating realistic imagery through careful attention to facial features and clothing details. It provides valuable insight into both Gladstone as an individual and Millais as an artist.