Bubbles. After John Everett Millais, 1829–1896 Brit.
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Bubbles

c1896. Colour lithograph, accompanied with original postal tube, text below image, 71.1 x 48.9cm. Foxing and ragged edges to margins, slight handling creases.

Text includes “From the original painting by the late Sir John E. Millais…President of the Royal Academy in the possession of Messrs Pear. The postal tube, dated “Nov. 15, 1915” was sent from Royal Park, Surrey, England to the Royal Military College in Duntroon, Queanbeyan. It is addressed to a Mrs Maytum, possibly “Alice Maytum, home duties” who is listed in the 1917 electoral role at Duntroon. Held in V&A.

Bubbles, originally titled A Child’s World, is an 1886 painting by Sir John Everett Millais that became famous when it was used over many generations in advertisements for Pears soap. During Millais’ lifetime it led to widespread debate about the relationship between art and advertising. Millais’ model was his five-year-old grandson William Milbourne James (1881–1973), who later became a distinguished admiral, and was “familiarly known by the nickname ‘Bubbles’ for the rest of his life.” The bubbles in the image symbolise “the beauty and fragility of life.” The painting was acquired by Sir William Ingram of The Illustrated London News, for the purpose of reproduction in his newspaper. Subsequently, the reproduction was seen by Thomas J. Barratt, managing director of A & F Pears, who then purchased the painting from Ingram for £2200 which gave him exclusive copyright on the picture. With trepidation, Millais gave permission for a bar of Pears soap to be added to the poster, so that it could be used for the purposes of advertising. This special issue of the poster, printed around 1896, does not show the bar of soap, as it is a presentation plate of a reproduction of the painting. It was originally given away as a separate package with the Pears Annual (1890–1921). Ref: V&A; Royal Museums Greenwich; Wiki.

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Item #CL201-18

Price (AUD): $1,100.00  other currencies

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