Artwork Description / Detail
William Edward Millner
(British 1849 – 1895)
William Edward Millner was a Victorian genre artist who lived in the Lincolnshire town of Gainsborough where his father was a local teacher and artist.
Millner became well known within the Gainsborough area for his rustic genre paintings inspired by the Lincolnshire countryside.
He belonged to the school of Victorian artists who reacted against the instability of the industrial revolution (and it’s subsequent mass urban migration and emigration) by favoring rustic scenes that celebrated the traditions of rural British life.
The everyday lives of anonymous working class people and country-life were popular subject matters for genre artists during this period.
Millner’s works Unyoking, Ploughing, and Laborer’s exemplify this trend and were all exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1869 -1896. Animals, particularly horses were another subject favored by Millner – several of his equestrian paintings are in the collection of the Gainsborough Old Hall Museum.
Millner exhibited at the Royal Academy and was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists exhibiting in Suffolk Street. A number of his works can be seen in the collection of the Gainsborough Old Hall Museum. One of his early works A Wayside Gossip (1873) is in the Tate Gallery Collection.