Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829–1896
The Lost Piece of Silver
Date Published 1864
Medium Wood engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 140 x 108 mm
Acquisition Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
In his letters Millais continually praised the engravers who worked for the Dalziels. He was particularly pleased with this image and wrote that it had been ‘splendidly cut’.
However Millais’s designs for the Parables were frequently criticised for combining modern and historical elements. Although set two thousand years ago, the woman (modelled by Millais’s wife, Effie) is dressed in contemporary costume. She is shown reaching for a lost coin which is a metaphor for God’s rejoicing at the repentance of a sinner.
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