Sir John Everett Millais, Bt

The Wicked Husbandman

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

October 1862 Millais wrote to the Dalziels: ‘Here at last is another Parable & another is in hand this week. The quality of the work speaks for itself and I need not tell you to cut it with all your might... I have done the vine elaborately from nature for the next Parable the labourers in the Vineyard who kill the heir.’

The vine twisted around the neck of the husbandman’s heir shows the lengths Millais went to in order to produce an accurate description of nature. The dead bird and toad in the right foreground enhance the sense of evil.

Gallery label, November 2004

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