Portrait of Frank Millet by his contemporary, author and illustrator George Du Maurier, from Harper's New Monthly Magazine for June 1889.
Francis Davis (Frank) Millet was born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, on 3 November 1846 and died by drowning on board the Titanic, when it sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, on 15 April 1912. He served as a drummer boy, and later as assistant to his surgeon father, in the American Civil War. He was a brilliant student at Harvard, later a reporter and city editor for a Boston newspaper. He then decided to devote himself to art and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, where he won silver and gold medals for his work.
Millet couldn't resist the adventure of covering the Russian-Turkish war for the American and British press. He was decorated by the Russian and Rumanian governments for his bravery under fire and for treating the battlefield wounded. Eventually his illustrated accounts were published by Harper's New Monthly Magzine.
Herewith, in the same publication, are comments about Millet by the distinguished author and expatriate, Henry James (1843-1916):
"It is characteristic of Mr. Frank Millet's career, with opposites so much mingled in it, that such work as he has done for these pages should have had as little in common as possible with midland English scenery. [James had written 'Our Artists in Europe' in which he described the picturesque village of Broadway where Millet had taken a cottage.] . . . There was a time when he drew little else but Cossacks and Orientals, and drew them as one who had good cause to be vivid.
Cossack Types. Individual sketches probably drawn from life. Click on image to enlarge.
Of the young generation he was the first to know the Russian plastically, especially the Russian soldier, and he had paid heavily for his acquaintance. During the Russo-Turkish war he was correspondent in the field (with the victors) of the New York Herald and the London Daily News– a capacity in which he made many out-of-the-way, many precious, observations. . . ."
The entire article by Henry James may be uploaded at this link:
Our Artists in Europe
More to follow.