Sir John Everett Millais, Bt

The Leaven

published 1864

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829–1896
Wood engraving on paper
Image: 140 × 108 mm
Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924

Display caption

This image illustrates the parable of the leaven from Matthew’s gospel: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened’. In the background Millais shows a young girl standing in front of the oven holding a loaf of bread. She watches as the woman kneads the dough and mixes in the leaven (yeast).

The skills of the Dalziel brothers’ engravers are demonstrated by the effects of light from the window flooding into the dark interior and casting a shadow on the floor.

Gallery label, July 2008

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

You might like

In the shop