American Realist painter Francis Davis Millet would be one of the many casualties of the "Titanic", before that horrible misfortune however he led a profoundly successful life. He was born on a Massachusetts farm and had served as a drummer boy during the American Civil War. He graduated from Harvard College in 1869 with a degree in literature, but decided he wanted to pursue painting instead.
He traveled to Belgium, where he studied at the Royal Academy and was recognized for his work by the King. When he returned to the United States he took work as an artistic correspondent, covering events at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, where he was also exhibiting his work.
He continued his correspondent work through 1874, when he returned to Belgium and befriended John Singer Sargent and Edwin Austin Abbey. He married in France, and he and his wife became active members of European Society.
By 1876 the couple had returned to America where Millet had become one of the founders of the Boston Museum School of Art along with William Morris Hunt and John LaFarge. He was commissioned to paint murals in Boston, and took several prominent portrait commissions, including one of Mark Twain.
During the course of the next decade Millet would transition from easel painting to a preference for murals, and all the while he was incredibly busy traveling on painting excursions to Europe, becoming a member of the National Academy, was the Director of Decorations and Functions at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and serving as a special envoy to Japan in 1908.
He exhibited widely throughout his entire career, and his works are in some of the most important art collections of the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.