Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA, Cavalrymen conferring with a clergyman
Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA, Cavalrymen conferring with a clergyman

Cavalrymen conferring with a clergyman, ca.1840

Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA (1829 - 1896)

RA Collection: Art

The young Millais was particularly fond of drawing historical scenes like this one depicting a group of cavalrymen outside a church or abbey. The 17th century, and in particular the English Civil War, were popular subjects at the time in both art and literature and many of Millais's early drawings are playful images of cavaliers and soldiers in historic dress.

Many of Millais's early imaginative sketches reveal a schoolboy fascination with the English Civil War and the heavily romanticised clash between Roundheads and Cavaliers. In the late 1830s and early 1840s the young artist used this turbulent era as the setting for some of his earliest compositions including 'News of the Defeat of the Royalists', 'Woman Presenting a Petition to a Cavalier' and a scene from Sir Walter Scott's Peveril of the Peak painted in 1841.

A decade later, he returned to this favourite childhood theme with 'The Proscribed Royalist' (1852-3; Private collection), depicting a Puritan girl helping a fugitive Royalist. However, this constitutes a rare example of a Civil War subject in Millais's later work.

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Object details

Object type
Place of Publication
United Kingdom
Watercolour paint, over pencil outline, on thick cream wove paper

163 mm x 240 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Mary, Lady Millais 1945


Cavalrymen conferring with a clergyman


Sketch of 16th century figures in an interior
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