New addition to Birmingham’s Pre-Raphaelite Collection
5th May 2010
Acceptance in Lieu Scheme Brings Painting by Sir John Everett Millais to Birmingham
We are delighted to announce an exciting new addition to Birmingham’s world famous Pre-Raphaelite Collection. The Proscribed Royalist, 1651 by Sir John Everett Millais has been accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.
Painted in 1853, it shows a Puritan girl risking her life to bring food to a young Royalist fugitive hiding in the forest. It commemorates the Battle of Worcester in 1651 which ended the English Civil War and the escape of Charles II who hid in the Boscobel Oak in Staffordshire. It is one of the dramatic and popular “love in conflict” series produced by Millais in the early 1850s which included The Black Brunswicker and The Huguenot.
The setting is a wood near Hayes in Kent where Millais painted the landscape and costume on site. The Irish beauty, Anne Ryan, posed for the girl and the artist Arthur Hughes was the model for the cavalier. The hollow tree, known as The Millais Oak is still growing in the wood at Hayes. The collection includes three working drawings for the painting which offers a unique insight into the artist’s working methods.
The painting is a reduced scale replica of the version now in the Lloyd Webber Foundation. It was owned and probably commissioned by Benjamin Windus, one of the early patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites who also owned The Last of England by Madox Brown, now in the Birmingham collection. It is the first painting by a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to enter the collection since 1989 when the portrait of Mrs Joseph Chamberlain, also by Millais, was acquired.
The picture is on display in Gallery 18 at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.
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