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.
Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA, Squared up sketch for 'A Forerunner'

Squared up sketch for 'A Forerunner', 1895-6

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

Squared up sketch for 'A Forerunner'
Object type
Pencil on tracing paper

c.30.3 cm x 32 cm

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