We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

As restrictions ease, the number of visitors to the RA is increasing. Find out what plans are in place to make your visit safe and comfortable.

Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA, Sketch for 'A Forerunner' and other drawings
Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA, Sketch for 'A Forerunner' and other drawings

Sketch for 'A Forerunner' and other drawings, 1896

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

RA Collection: Art

These three sheets include preparatory studies for A Forerunner(1895-6; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow), one of Millais's last paintings. The scene depicts St. John the Baptist, the 'forerunner' of Christ, wearing animal skins and standing in a wilderness. These drawings suggest that Millais was experimenting with the pose of the saint who holds up two sticks to bind together, inadvertantly making the sign of the Cross. The painting is one of a group of late works addressing religious themes - including 'St Stephen' (1895) and 'A Disciple' (1895) - all of which feature a single figure painted in sombre, muted tones.

All objects in this group

Object details

Object type
Black and white chalk on straw board

453 mm x 370 mm

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


Sketch for 'A Forerunner' and other drawings


Sketch for 'A Forerunner'
return to start

Start exploring the RA Collection

read more
  • Explore art works, paint-smeared palettes, scribbled letters and more...
  • Artists and architects have run the RA for 250 years.
    Our Collection is a record of them.
Start exploring