Sir John Everett Millais, Bt

The Lost Piece of Silver

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

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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.

Gallery label, July 2008

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