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When he was in his forties, Millais regularly painted pure landscapes, often exhibiting them to popular and critical acclaim at the Royal Academy. They differ in style and content to his earlier Pre-Raphaelite work. They are atmospheric rather than narrative, as suggested by titles such as Chill October, ‘The Moon is up and yet it is not Night’, and this one, Flowing to the River.Millais’s friend and fellow painter, William Blake Richmond, wrote ‘Even in his landscapes I think I can always detect a kind of human sentiment pervading, a mood of Nature akin to a human mood which prompted them’.

May 2007