Chapter VII is where the subject in hand comes into its own. Having mentioned Millais’ Christ in the House of his Parents (1849, Tate) through the words of Dickens etc, it is prudent and certainly proves to be, to examine the work through the eyes of Millais (as far as possible).

Sir John Everett Millais, Bt ‘Christ in the House of His Parents (‘The Carpenter’s Shop’)’, 1849–50
Millais, Christ in the House of his Parents (1849, Tate)

Deconstructing the more recent claims that Millais was attempting to create a realistic portrayal of the family, Errington seeks to examine other feasible hypotheses. It is perfectly reasonable that the Holy Family were not rich nobles, but there seems to be a deeper rooted reason instigating the vitriolic critical responses. The forthright presentation of the family seemed to inflame but Errington suggests it cannot be held as Millais’ intention because the work is full of inconsistencies, anachronisms and confusions.[1]

Critically, and this is key both to my own approach and to that of Errington’s chapter and wider argument,

inconsistency is not confined to Pre-Raphaelite painting religious alone; it is a thread which runs right through nineteenth century religious belief as a whole, and the confusion in art is an accurate mirror of the confusion in belief. From picture to picture, the intentions of the Pre-Raphaelites seemed to veer and vary, as if it were impossible ever to find and maintain one satisfactory line of approach to religious matters. With seeming uncertainty as to whether the painting on which they were engaged was narrative or devotional, symbolic or realistic, revivalist or scientifically accurate according to the latest standards of research, Hunt and Millais produced such diverse works as The Carpenter’s Shop, The Christian Missionary, The Return of the Dove to the Ark, The Hireling Shepherd, and The Scapegoat. Perhaps even the desire, in a sectarian and a scientific age, to produce a valid religious art out of a rag bag of new and old beliefs or dogmas, the remnants of a long discontinued artistic tradition and the crude experiments in a new, was a forlorn hope.[2]

A later analysis written in 1887 by Walter Armstrong was critical of ‘the sound of Bow bells’ detected in the so say middle-Eastern figures of Millais’ work.[3] This criticism is dependent upon the premise he intended the image to be historically authentic. Errington points out that an interview of 1884 suggests Millais was aware of ‘the antithetical claims lurking under the simple cover of depicting gospel stories’ which ‘effectively prevented him from carrying out such religious subjects at all.[4] I’m inclined to agree with Errington’s reading, as Millais’ ‘religious works’ are earlier in his career. Millais’ increasing decline in pursuing such subjects seems to imply that he was not comfortable with pushing the envelope.

The proclamation that ‘the passionate, intensely realistic, and Dante-like faith and worship which inspired the old masters’ was extinct ‘or nearly so’ could be read as indicative of Millais’ short lived engagement with presenting controversial religious imagery.[5] Millais said the public was too critical to bear the sort of simious children of Syria, or the sun of Palestine: they were interested in ‘fair English children of course’.[6] Errington sees his invocation of ‘Dante-like faith’ as representative of his frame of mind when painting The Carpenter’s Shop; she sees the issue of inconsistency as indicative of the faith of Dante being ‘beyond recall’.[7]

Millais’ work suffers due to its multiplicity. He tried to recreate, to make the work authentic, to adhere to the methods and stylistic tenets of fifteenth century Italian / Flemish styles. He was attempting to disappear into a reality that belonged to the fifteenth and not the nineteenth, but the historical authenticity that Hunt produced in The Shadow of the Cross or The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple is absent.[8] Curiously Errington goes on to describe the material and the immaterial, claiming ‘that even the most mystical of contents must be conveyed by the factually probable’.[9] She doesn’t elucidate on this sentence adequately, instead she proclaims the work has its own ‘warped kind of authenticity’ which departs ‘from the make-believes of Rossetti’s The Girlhood of Mary Virgin as clearly as it does from the scientific researches of Hunt’.[10]

At this point, Errington turns to the gospels and attempts to position Millais’ response as a theme which was born not only from various apocryphal writings but was also reflective of a general Pre-Raphaelite interest, e.g. the youth of the Christ child was picked up by Collinson in his extended poem ‘Child Jesus A Record Typical of the Five Sorrowful Mysteries’ (which Collinson also illustrated).[11] Whilst this poem describes various episodes of Jesus’ life, it does not describe a scene comparable to that in Millais’ picture. Errington seeks other sources as inspiration and settles upon the Tractarian source mentioned by Hunt, an unrecorded sermon Millais heard whilst in Oxford.[12]

Aside from Hunt’s statement, Errington has good reason for assigning the work to Tractarian symbolism. The ‘High Church’ quality of the Oxford Movement was something the Pre-Raphaelites were aware and responsive too: Newman was admired by Millais, Burne-Jones and other associates of the PRB, e.g. the Combes (whose collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings is held in the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford).

Millais’ painting is replete with a biblical quote: And one shall say unto him, what are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zechariah 13:6)[13] Errington conjectures (and this is the word she uses) that this may have been the subject of the sermon, if the painting was indeed based upon the Tractarian sermon mentioned. The only alternative subject for the sermon is likely to have been the Passion of Christ. The scriptural adherence of Newman et al., suggests using an invented, undocumented scene of an infant Christ during a sermon would not have been at all likely: thus, it is likely that Millais has lifted the biblical authority into a setting where the symbolism is ‘to be seen not spoken of’.[14]

Returning to Zechariah, Errington remarks on its strangeness, not least because of it being an Old Testament text. There is no Christological purpose in this textual choice, although, as a by-product (intentional?) it does create a curious triangulated connection between the typological words of the quote, the invented yet typological styled image which prophesies the coming crucifixion, and the major points of conflict and debate during the nineteenth century, Baptism and the Eucharist. This sort of Trinitarian juxtaposition is one that is quite common, and such encoded messages are frequently found within Pre-Raphaelite works, and such typological symbolism is self-evident within the work of Hunt as discussed by George P. Landow. Errington ponders whether the sermon or the painter is responsible for these triangulated messages and symbols. I would suggest Landow’s work, written six years after Errington’s original thesis, shows the works to be a conscious exploration by the Pre-Raphaelites, albeit I would append to that the various brothers resolved the issues in varying aesthetic ways perhaps in part due to their various personal religious positions.

In 1851, Pusey published his letter to the Lord Bishop of London. The objective of this letter was as ‘a justification and defence of the writer’s religious practice, and especially of his attitudes towards the sacraments, which had led to accusations of Popery’.[15] Pusey defended the attention he had given ‘’his Five Wounds’ by arguing that this was in no way Romish, was founded on the doctrine of the Incarnation, and born out by the words of holy scripture’[16] At this point in the letter he refers to Zechariah (13:6) and applies it in a typological manner, as Millais also did. This observation is quite rightly seen by Errington as being significant and confirms a not only identical purpose of application but a Tractarian typological reading between the Old Testament and the New.

Errington suggests that a Protestant reading Pusey’s letter would have found its arguments tainted with Romanism, as indeed the things he was discussing / defending. The Holy Sacrament, mysticism and superstition, and Marian imagery were all decidedly Catholic, certainly they were foreign in outlook to Reformed Protestant Churches. The supernatural equalled the incomprehensible to Protestants, so the rub between the two positions results in Protestantism trying to become more earth bound in it language. In Protestant hands, the Holy Eucharist becomes the Lord’s Supper, the Altar becomes ‘the Lord’s table’ etc. etc.[17]

The issue of baptism was a serious point of debate, one which the Protestants felt was the first introductory step within a Christian life, one which would be further validated through the personal journey of the committed faith of the adult Christian. The ceremony was an important ritual that stood separately to the regenerating grace of God. Catholics on the other hand, as the very grace of God being present within the baptismal water. The contention arises from the varying display of the immaterial and the material, and the assigned spiritual significance. Symbolism then was all important, and certainly more overt within Catholicism. Thus, the heavy symbolism of Millais’ work is viewed as being redolent of Romish tendencies. If there was a gap between the artist belief and his depiction of a symbol then its faithful application becomes what Carlyle described reality, i.e. ‘the merely ornamental’.[18]

Errington states the Tractarians were working in opposition to the scientific biblical exegetical which had been gradually gaining in popularity since the late eighteenth century. ‘Tract 89’ of the ‘Tracts for the Times’ details the Tractarian interest in the writings of the first century Church Fathers. Errington helpfully summarises this for readers, as I will do now.

The author (thought to be Keble) claimed that the two Testaments were linked by more than historical continuity. The happenings within the New Testament had essentially been reference by the use of prefigurative symbolism in the Old Testament. This is essentially a reading of the Old Testament as typologically symbolic of the New Testament. The Sign of the Cross for example may be found in examples of ‘a tree, a staff’ rod or sceptre’.[19] This quote makes Errington’s reading sound a little simplistic and undermines what was a deeply spiritual and intellectual reading of scripture. For example, her reference to Jonah’s story being viewed as a type comes across as a little sarcastic, and her (presumably secular) voice sounds very ‘rational’ in a twentieth century way. Typology was a deeply woven ideology, and types (symbols) could be found within the natural world as well as within scripture. For Keble, nature was another revelatory book, and as such, were directly ordained by God as designed expressions of His truth. Shadows could well be viewed as images of the Passion, just as shapes or numbers could refer to the sacraments.[20] Keble suggested the word mysteria, or sacraments, ought to be applied to such natural symbols.[21] This, taken to its extreme, means that the whole world was full of sacraments; a line of thought not dissimilar to Ruskin’s approach to nature as an example of the sacral.

Thinkers and writers like Ruskin, as well as Lord Lindsay, and Mrs Jameson were developing an understanding of medieval symbols. Modern Painters (Ruskin), Christian Art (Lindsay) and Sacred and Legendary Art (Jameson) were well known books at the time the PRB were producing their first religious paintings. Jameson and Lindsay both sought to restore an understanding of the correspondence between medieval Christian belief and the visual vocabulary of its expression. Errington’s clear understanding of these texts is centred around her acceptance of the ‘manifestation of a widespread anxiety to create forms of expression appropriate to the nineteenth century’.[22] I concur, not only was the nineteenth century extremely anxious about religion and religious differences, but the symbolism within religious art becomes a form of via media. I would even go so far as to say the very body of the angel becomes a via media, but that discussion is outside of the scope of this piece of writing.

Carlyle’s concentrated writing about social decay supports this artistic endeavour to seek out a mediator between Christian belief and the visual vocabulary. A term I find useful in discussing this collective, unified symbolism is ‘common grammar’. The common grammar of the day required a symbol that could mediate between Christian belief and the anxiety surrounding the various means of practicing that belief (in my opinion this anxiety is resolved, or at least explored and contained within the body of the angel). All three authors return to the past as they attempt to understand the present, as do the Pre-Raphaelites with their sources for artistic inspiration. Jameson proclaims ‘We are critical not credulous’ and goes on to say the polytheistic nature of Christianity must turn to the past, in order to find ‘new combinations of the beautiful’.[23] Her meaning seems to suggest Protestants should not be fearful of Romish images, e.g. Marian ones, for returning to such symbols did not necessarily mean the spirit of Christianity would be confounded with ‘mutable forms’ but rather that one would be able to embrace a progressive spirit within their Christian lives. Errington surmises Lindsay’s more grandiose writing as being ‘at once a pattern for, and challenge to the present’.

Errington thinks, as presumably Jameson and Lindsay also did, that the art of the 1840s needed to be rethought.[24] Errington then quotes from a description by Lucy on his Allegory of the Christian Religion which was exhibited at the R.A. in 1846. It is unfortunate that I cannot ascertain a copy of this work, but the description is certainly of note:

The figure habited in white typifies the purity of the Christian religion aspiring to the heaven: The Spirit of God, in the form of a dove, gently descends upon it. The Spirit of God, in the form of a dove, gently descends upon it. Christian Charity, uninfluenced by human prejudices, protects the innocent and helpless, encourages brotherly love, and teaches the young mind its duties to the Creator.[25]

Accepted as evidence of allegorical ingredients similar to those favoured in the Parliamentary fresco scheme, it is one of only two available means of religious art: allegorical or narrative. The English Protestant had never had a ‘iconography truly his own’.[26] Britain’s Protestant nature had kept Marian and angelic images at bay and the following passage is worth quoting at length:

If it was permissible for the Protestant painter to compose Gospel stories and allegorical fictions, he was cut off from the traditional language of symbols, and hierarchy of legendary angels, saints and martyrs by the course of the Reformation, and, perhaps even more effectively, by the growth of scientific knowledge, especially botany and geology, in whose new image of the world the types, and the natural history of the early church Fathers dwindled to discredited superstitions.[27]

Jameson was right, criticism on religious paintings had attended to the aesthetic qualities over and above the Christian ones. She even went so far as to suggest the philosophising over Taste was so bent on avoiding discussions about Religion and Civilization that they would have appeared ridiculous; ‘we should have had another cry of ‘No Popery’, and acts of parliament forbidding the importation of Saints and Madonnas’.[28]

Sir Joshua Reynolds ‘The Holy Family with the Infant St John’, 1788–9
Reynolds,The Holy Family with the Infant St. John (1788 – 1789, Tate)

Eighteenth century art such as Reynolds’ The Holy Family with the Infant St. John (1788 – 1789, Tate) was sentimental, and we know well how Rossetti and co. thought of ‘Sir Sloshua’. Reynolds’ own writing, Discourses, pays little attention to religious art and did not even allocate it a category of its own, suggesting instead that it belonged underneath History Painting.[29] Whilst Reynolds celebrated Raphael’s Cartoons as History Painting, Ruskin disparaged them for their inadequacies as vehicles of Christian belief.[30] The emphasis in critical viewing responses, whilst not positive in this instance, had moved from historical to religious.

Lord Lindsay’s studies were preceded by a table of symbols: it included some as common as the ‘Dove’, to other more complex ones like ‘water’. The well, and the bird which drinks water from the saucer, would be read by Tractarians as ‘an oblique baptismal reference or type’ and Lindsay had already shown how the faithful of Christ might be represented ‘by doves or other birds’, (perhaps even angels as another form of winged being).

Errington suggests Millais’ cactus flower, his own invention, was a clever way of combining a hint of suffering or bloodshed with a suggestion of the crown of thorns, although it seems to reference Jewishness to me. Certainly during my own experience of living in Israel, I was met with instances of Jew’s describing themselves as prickly on the outside but soft on the inside, like a cactus. I think this could be a valuable reading. The finite detail of the work is extraordinary and the symbolism complex and will no doubt be forever unresolved, certainly in the terms which Errington is approaching it (i.e. Tractarianism v Romanism v Protestantism).

The Return of the Dove to the Art, The Christian Missionary, and Convent Thoughts in the Ashmolean

I personally see the position of British art during the nineteenth century as being ripe for these sorts of works, a welcome break from the indeterminate religious art before. The Pre-Raphaelites seem to give focus to many of the ideas and discussions around belief, and the employment of religious symbolism. The interruption the Reformation inflicted upon religious art was one issue Errington explored (albeit not as explicitly or in as much detailed as she suggests she did) and the second cause she turns to is the growth of science. This second cause of ‘the gulf between the modern Protestant and the old medieval types’ was acknowledged by most art critical or historical writers of the period.[31] Quoting William Michael Rossetti, we see how even amongst the Pre-Raphaelites, there was differing opinion. William Michael is a somewhat awkward character, for he is the most fervent of them, he asserted plainly his atheism. Whilst science is not explicitly referred to, William Michael describes the century as not material ‘but eminently positive’.[32] Whereas Ruskin called for a Sacred Living Art through embracing the facts of modern science as a visible embodiment of the divine maker, William Michael thought fact (and science) ‘eliminated the chances of a living symbolic art’.[33] Like the Tractarians, Ruskin also used the word ‘Type’ albeit his application was more fluid so that it functioned in a more Tennysonian style, one which allowed the possibility of being witness to change.

‘Oh earth what changes has thou seen’ Tennyson.

Sight was deemed by both Ruskin and the Tractarians to be a gift devoted to religious ends. Collins’ Convent Thoughts (1851, Ashmolean) is analysed as a means of exposing the differences between the two approaches.

The only thing in the painting which Ruskin approved of was the alisma plantago (the water weed) in the foreground. Collins had drawn it exceptionally and botanically well. The passion flower was ignored though; if she had read Modern Painters or The Seven Lamps of Architecture, the nun would have appreciated the weed as a type of ‘Infinity, or the type of Divine Incomprehensibility’.[34] The weed was to be regarded as emblematic of two divine types, and so the nun’s scrutiny of the passion flower and not the weed, becomes Ruskin’s way of reading the nun as ‘a hopeless Romanist’.

Ruskin’s typological ideology stemmed from his (at this stage of his life anyway) devout communion with God and His infinity, and His role as Divine Maker of all earthly things. Tractarianism was more concerned with types as examples of specifics: ritual, sacramental, historical, ordinances etc, which arises from a pre-medieval and non-empirical tradition of natural history.

The gap between the ‘traditional and reassuring interpretation of the natural types, as the manifestation of God in his creation, and the apparently bleak and contradictory meaning offered by science’ was filled with anxiety.[35] Errington corrects a misapprehension that the anxiety was based only on consolidating the view the world had been created in seven days with the emerging facts about the world’s immeasurable pre-history; she turns once more to Tennyson and his ‘In Memoriam’; which she sees as indicative of a exploration of how to maintain the traditional understanding of nature in the face of geological revelations. Pusey quoted a passage which explains one view that permitted such a rebalance of thinking: ‘That law of vegetable nature…that life is through death’.[36] The parables, which this notion of vegetation, propagation and earth taps into, were illustrated by Millais. An interesting aside. The seed is itself a scriptural type of the resurrection.

Errington perceives Hunt’s minute detail as being comparable to a scientific specification. She goes on to say, and this is a fascinating and well-judged observation, that the nineteenth century’s scientific curiosity was in itself responsible for the pursuit of such intimate understanding and knowledge of ancient visual Christian symbols within art.[37] Hunt, like Tennyson, initially embraced the sense of modernity which science seemed to bring with it. Hunt had ‘no apparent suspicion of it as a threat either to the imaginative or to the religious life’.[38] Hunt even tried to describe to the sceptical dons at Oxford that Pre-Raphaelitism was itself part of modernity, and he did so by quoting Tennyson:

I was born too late: the fair new forms,
That float about the threshold of an age,
Like truths of Science waiting
Crying ‘Catch me who can’ and make the catcher crowned.[39]

An interesting reversal of our typical view point of seeing Pre-Raphaelitism as going / looking backwards. Hunt was looking at new forms and combining them with ‘the truth of science’ whereas Rossetti was disinclined toward science and thought it could offer him nothing, as a painter. ’Modern scientific discoveries had no charms for him’.[40]

Hunt, A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids (1849 – 1850, Ashmolean)

Hunt’s paintings are entirely different, perhaps because of this desire to look and understand. His A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids (1849 – 1850, Ashmolean) captures his interest in faces and races of men, in climatic features and influences, and also chronology as captured in costume. Rossetti was more interested in embracing medieval symbolism than seeking literal truth, and Millais was soon deterred from painting religious imagery.

Hunt’s Woodstock (1847) (of which there is a photograph held in the National Archives, Kew) painting was a passable and peaceful image in terms of Anglican problems. However, Christ and the Two Marys (1847 – 1900, Adelaide) presented what Errington describes as ‘insuperable difficulties’, because the patterns and symbols used for the same subject were of no hold: ‘The language they used was then a living one, now it is dead’.[41] The medieval flag used to represent Christ’s triumph over death did not translate to a nineteenth century audience and, once again, the symbols needed to be reinvigorated and invented for the audience of the day. How could one depict the supernatural, the immaterial without violating material law? This difficulty certainly seems to have been insurmountable at this juncture and the painting was put on hold. Hunt explains in his memoirs that when he began this painting he was an atheist and so he felt unable to complete it. His conversion to a personal form of Christianity, which is supposedly recorded in The Light of the World took place a few years later, but he did not take up this picture until fifty years later.[42]

File:William Holman Hunt - Christ And The Two Marys.jpg
Hunt, Christ and the Two Marys (1847 – 1900, Adelaide)

Ruskin writes about four ways to depict the supernatural and offers various methods of trying to capture the spirit or form of a supernatural being using Types, or presenting a form inconsistent with its actual nature, or creating the actual form in its material manner. This framework seems to mirror the difficulties Hunt was trying to resolve. Hunt is different to the other Pre-Raphaelites in this manner, for he is more earth bound, less dream-like in his approach: Hunt sought to bring the immaterial down to earth and present it with material fact and laws.

Errington describes Hunt’s Druidic Christian Missionary (1849- 1850) painting one which presents an exciting layer of dramatic reconstructed events. She suggests Hunt has drawn figures, particularly the exhausted missionary, from the Campo Santo engravings produced by Lasinio (which we know were a major influence upon the Pre-Raphaelites). It is the second layer, the symbolic layer, which is of most interest.

The work was purchased by the Anglican Patron and Collector whom Millais was friends with, Thomas Combe. Hunt wrote one of his ‘explanations’ to Combe, in order that the individual details were not misunderstood: although it seems extreme to explain to someone like Combe what the significance of the corn and the grapes was. Combe was known to his family and friends as ‘the early Christian’.[43] As is the case with many of Hunt’s paintings, the symbolism is deeply considered and in some ways this is what makes them look so unwieldy, so overworked and is perhaps even part of the reason they are less popular than other works (and in that sense could be considered unsuccessful). Hunt’s message is often didactic and we are not left to our own devices, as we are in, for example, Rossetti’s 1860 works.

Like Landow, Errington turns to Ruskin’s description of Tintoretto and the symbolism of Christ as the Head stone, the cornerstone, the very foundation of life. ‘It was at such moments that Ruskin came closest to the Tractarians, and indeed, his praise of Tintoretto is praise of a double vision such as Keble admired in the Fathers. ‘Everything to them existed in two world: in the world of sense according to its outward nature and relations; in the world intellectual, according to its spiritual associations. And thus did the whole scheme of material things, and especially those objects in it which are consecrated by scriptural allusion, assume in their eyes a sacramental or symbolic character’.[44] This overlapping of thinkers is visible in the Tractarian Carpenter’s Shop through the carpentry and the prophetic significance. I am not sure it does Millais much justice to suggest Hunt planted the seed, as it were, for the Carpenter’s Shop though.

The fish, another symbol within the Christian Missionary, is then discussed in detail. Mrs. Jameson is quoted as is Lindsay, both of whom write about baptism and faith in relation to the fish / water. Hunt’s own description of the work draws on scriptural passages which refer to water, e.g. Mark 9:41. This tightly knitted framework presents the Missionary as a type or a re-enactment of the Passion of Christ himself.[45]

If we accept the missionary as a deputy for Christ then, when we turn back to the Carpenter’s Shop, we are of a mindset where we read the wounds of the Christ child as prefigurements rather than typical repetitions of the crucifixion; in this sense, Errington rebalances the intellectual ownership of Millais’ work and this argument sits much better in my mind. Millais and Hunt’s own private faiths were rather different in application: we have already mentioned Hunt was at this early stage of his career and Atheist, whereas Millais was also rather conventional in his broad Christian attitude. It is known from letters in the Ashmolean, that the idea of conversion intrigued Millais and although he attended Cardinal Wiseman’s sermons and that he spent time pouring over the Thirty Nine Articles, conversion doesn’t appear to have ever been a serious consideration.

Millais, The Return of the Dove to the Ark (1851, Ashmolean)

The Return of the Dove to the Ark (1851, Ashmolean) was criticised as being overtly Romish and thought to indicate by one critic of Millais’ intention to convert.[46] Whilst this seems absurd to us now, the Tractarian symbolism must, by this time, have been established enough as a mechanism and formula that it seemed a plausible reading for critics of the time. It is also logical that the critic looked at the work as a continuation of the Carpenter’s Shop rather than a single instance. The Flood is written about in Tract 89 in a manner which suggests regeneration through water, and it is just possible that this was seen as emblematic of the discord over Baptismal Regeneration. The other unfinished work The Eve of the Deluge (1849 – 1850, British Museum) appears to have occupied much of Millais’ imagination and is written about in private correspondence to Combe and his family. His intention seems to have been to describe the work as a means of rejuvenation, of cleansing the sinner. Presumably if he had finished that work, the same critic would have had more ammunition.

During the last few pages Errington wonders whether the Christian Missionary or The Carpenter’s Shop were evidence of anything more than symbolic currency. It seems foolhardy to discount their responses as being either latent responses to the issues around them, or genuinely representative of their own feelings on the matter. We can’t discern or prove either way, but we should not assume they are mere currency. It seems distasteful to conclude that the works were produced mechanistically and not in the open spirit of either art or religion. Whereas Errington concludes with the reassertion that Hunt and Combe collectively influenced Millais more than any Church party, I think it a fairer assessment to assume both could be true and may well co-exist in Millais’ works, whilst I would also allow for the possibility that Millais’ own view of the Christian world can be found in his paintings as well. I wouldn’t hold him accountable for them and like Ruskin, his view throughout his life no doubt changed, as we know his art did.

[1] Errington, p. 244

[2] Errington, p. 244 – 245

[3] ‘Sir John E. Millais’, The Art Journal (1887), p. 7

[4] Errington, p. 245

[5] ‘Sir John E. Millais’, The Art Journal (1887), p. 25

[6] ‘Sir John E. Millais’, The Art Journal (1887), p. 25

[7] Errington, p. 245

[8] Errington, p. 247

[9] Errington, p. 247

[10] Errington, p. 248

[11] This poem was possibly complete by 1848, see: Accessed 18/05/2015 21:56

[12] Errington, on page 251 of her book, suggests the sermon may have been given by Pusey. It is possible Millais was referencing the contentious sermon given by Pusey before the University of Oxford, in May 1843, entitled: The Holy Eucharist, a Comfort to the Penitent. This sermon is said to have contributed to Newman’s conversion to Catholicism in 1845. I think Errington missed a trick here by not making this connection or at least exploring it. Pusey later returns to the subject of the Holy Eucharist in his 1853 sermon, The Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This was later made into two books, The Doctrine of the Real Presence (1855) and The Real Presence the Doctrine of the English Church (1857).

[13] It is important to note the quote is from the King James Bible, an edition used by the High Anglican Church.

[14] Errington, p. 249

[15] Errington, p. 250

[16] Errington, p. 250

[17] Hurrell Froude, Remains of the late Reverend Richard Hurrell Froude, M.A., Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford Volume 1 (London: Rivington, 1838) p. 394 – 395

[18] Errington, p. 253

[19] Errington, p. 254

[20] This is certainly a useful and indeed essential way of approaching Hunt’s The Shadow of Death (1870, Manchester).

[21] Hooker, arranged by the Rev. John Keble, The Editors Preface (3rd edition, 1845) p. XCII

[22] Errington, p. 255

[23] Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, Vol. I (lLondon: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts, 1857), p. XX

[24] Errington, p. 257

[25] No. 723 in R.A. exhibition. Errington’s endnote says: I do not know this picture or any engraving after it.

[26] Errington, p. 257

[27] Errington p. 258. In her endnote, Errington mentions William Sharp’s book on Rossetti (London, 1882). He describes the Pre-Raphaelites work as a form of sceptical revolt. See chapter two.

[28] Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, Vol. I (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts, 1857), p. XXI

[29] Reynolds, Discourses, No. IV

[30] Ruskin discredited Raphael’s Christ’s Charge to Peter: ‘it served only to chill all the conceptions of sacred history which they might otherwise have obtained…Whatever they could have fancied for themselves bout…the…infinitely varied veracities of the life of Christ, was blotted out by the vapid fineries of Raphael’. See Ruskin, Modern Painters Vol. III. p. 81 – 82

[31] Errington, p. 264

[32] William Michael Rossetti, (1847), p. 42

[33] Errington, p. 265

[34] Ruskin, Modern Painters, Vol. 11

[35] Errington, p. 269

[36] John 12: 24 Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die…This was quoted in the Letter to the Bishop of London.

[37] Errington, p. 272

[38] Errington, p. 272

[39] Hunt, p. 315

[40] Hunt, p. 147

[41] Errington, p. 275

Hunt, p. 84

[42] Accessed 22/05/15 11.23

[43] Errington, p. 287

[44] Hooker, arranged by the Rev. John Keble, The Editors Preface (3rd edition, 1845) p. XCI.

[45] Errington, p. 286

[46] J.G. Millais, Vol. 1, p. 104