Sir John Everett Millais, Bt

The Boyhood of Raleigh

1870

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829–1896
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1206 x 1422 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Amy, Lady Tate in memory of Sir Henry Tate 1900
Reference
N01691

Display caption

Sir Walter Raleigh was one of the most celebrated explorers of the Elizabethan age. In Millais’s famous painting he is shown as a boy listening with rapt attention to ‘tales of wonder on sea and land’ told by a Genoese sailor. The toy ship in the foreground suggests Raleigh’s future adventures, while the sharp edge of an anchor on the right may allude to the final words he uttered at his execution: ‘Strike, man, strike’.

Gallery label, November 2016

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