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John Everett Millais (born in Southampton, England) painted "The Somnambulist" in 1871. Who was his sitter?

Woman in a white nightdress holding an unlit candlestick walks alongside a cliff, gaze fixed forward, unaware of the danger.

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    Just because I know little about art, what is the difference between a "sitter" and a "model"
    – MCW
    Apr 22, 2022 at 18:34
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    In the context of a person letting a painter look at them so as to paint a picture of them, I don't think there is a difference. But "model" also covers similar work for photographers.
    – user46904
    Apr 22, 2022 at 19:20
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    Volume two of the biography on Millais , The life and letters of Sir John Everett Millais v.2. by his son John Guille Millais (1899), has a detailed chronological list of the paintings, including models where know. The entry for 'A Somnambulist' on pg 475 does not include any information on the model for that painting.
    – justCal
    Apr 23, 2022 at 2:54
  • @justCal - Many thanks for this reference. I have been looking at some of his other paintings for whether the same person appears, and the sitter may have been his daughter Alice whom he painted in "Picture of Health" in 1874.
    – user46904
    Apr 25, 2022 at 13:16
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    Through historical sources I could not find an answer, but purely speculating I agree the family resemblance is strong in the painting, and his other sleep based paintings (sleeping, waking) were of his daughters, so there is a tentative connection there.
    – justCal
    Apr 25, 2022 at 13:31

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Between the winter of 1865 and the summer of 1866, the Pre-Raphaelite British painter John Everette Millais rented this mannequin from leading art supply store Charles Roberson & Co. The Parisian figure — known simply as Child no. 98 — had a horse-hair stuffed torso and a papier-mache head. It was too pricy to buy, but it proved an apt model for two portraits (“Sleeping” and “Waking”) the artist made of his own daughters. He worked from such dolls up until his death in 1895 (Image courtesy of Roberson Archive, Hamilton Kerr Institute © Hamilton Kerr Institute, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Photograph by Chris Titmus)

from the article Artists’ Mannequins Through the Centuries by Laura C. Mallonee

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    Is there any evidence that this or a similar mannequin was used for the painting in question?
    – Steve Bird
    Jun 2, 2022 at 15:38
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    Hi, this is a fascinating answer. Do you have source citations (online or offline) for the information and for the image?
    – shoover
    Jun 2, 2022 at 15:44
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    Hi Patricia, welcome to the History stack. We require information copied verbatim from outside source be properly sourced and credited,( much like the site it was copied from gives credit to the photographer to avoid copyright strikes.) Since this seems highly relevant I will edit this answer to bring it into line with our site expectations.
    – justCal
    Jun 2, 2022 at 18:14

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