Sir John Everett Millais, P.R.A. (Southampton 1829-1896 Kensington)
Sir John Everett Millais, P.R.A. (Southampton 1829-1896 Kensington)

Study of Effie Millais as Agnes for 'The Eve of Saint Agnes'

Details
Sir John Everett Millais, P.R.A. (Southampton 1829-1896 Kensington)
Study of Effie Millais as Agnes for 'The Eve of Saint Agnes'
pencil
6 x 3½ in. (15.3 x 9 cm.)
Provenance
with Agnew's, London, no. 31680.

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Lot Essay

This study is a preparatory figure study for Millais' painting The Eve of Saint Agnes which was purchased by H.M. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and is now part of The Royal Collection. The subject for the painting was inspired by John Keats' poem about Saint Agnes published in 1819. In the poem the young protaganist, Madeleine, believes in the superstition that on the eve of Saint Agnes' feast day she will be able to see into the future and see her future husband. Madeleine does not know that her lover, Prophyro is hiding in the room. In the mornining he wakes Madeleine and they elope together.
The painting was executed on the spot in three days in the Kings Room, at Knole House, Kent with its beautiful Jacobean interior. Millais visited the house in 1863 with his first wife Effie who was also used as the model for the painting. It is most likely this preparatory study of Effie for the painting was executed during this time.
Another figure study of Effie for the same painting is held by the British Museum, no.19970712.62.
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