A PAINTING that ended a Victorian art critic's marriage returned to Oxford in 2013.

The portrait of John Ruskin, whose writings on workers’ education inspired the foundation of Headington's Ruskin College, was eventually given away to one of his friends, who hung it in his Oxford home.

It remained there for about 60 years before being sold at auction to an anonymous owner.

In May, 2013 the £7m painting made a permanent return to the city after it was acquired by the Ashmolean Museum.

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The painting was started in the summer of 1853 when Ruskin, his wife Effie and the painter John Everett Millais went on holiday to Scotland together.

He expected that the painting would 'make a revolution in landscape painting'.

But during the holiday Millais fell in love with Effie and by July 1854 the Ruskins’ marriage had been annulled on the grounds that it had not been consummated.

A year later Millais married Effie and Ruskin’s friendship with him had come to an end.

Millais described finishing the portrait as 'the most hateful task I have ever had to perform'.