spacer Francis Davis Millet Francis Davis Millet

Upon receiving his master's degree in modern languages and literature from Harvard in 1869, Francis Millet began his career as a writer and editor for three Boston newspapers. But his interest in art soon led him to travel abroad to study at Antwerp's Royal Academy. There he met his portraitist, George Willoughby Maynard, and the two became close companions. They traveled together in Europe in 1873, and in 1876 they were both in Boston, working on the decorations that John La Farge had planned for Trinity Church.

Possessed of an inherent wanderlust, Millet covered the Russo-Turkish War for the New York Herald in 1877 and 1878. This portrait, undertaken when Maynard and Millet were both in Paris, represents Millet as a foreign correspondent, wearing the Russian and Romanian medals that had recently been awarded him for bravery under fire. After spending a year in Italy as the director of the American Academy in Rome during 1911, Millet booked passage back to America on the Titanic and was one of the 1,513 passengers who perished when it sank.

George Willoughby Maynard (1843-1923)
Oil on canvas, 1878
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Bequest of Dr. John A. P. Millet

Enlarged image

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