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.

Due to government restrictions, you may only visit with members of your household, not as a mixed group. If you need to rebook your visits, please contact us at 020 7300 8090 or tickets@royalacademy.org.uk, 10am – 5pm

Sir John Everett Millais Bt. PRA, Study for 'The Last Trek'

Study for 'The Last Trek', 1895-6

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

RA Collection: Art

These drawings relate to 'The Last Trek', a composition that Millais produced for the frontispiece of a book by his son, John Guille Millais, entitled A Breath from the Veld (published London,1895). The artist intended to make a painted version of the 'The Last Trek' shortly before his death and these drawings could relate to either the illustration or the planned oil painting of this subject.

John Guille Millais recalled a conversation with his father shortly before his death. He wrote: 'I had long wanted him to paint 'The Last Trek'....and now pointing to a large white canvas which stood on one of the easels - he whispered,"Well, Johnnie, you see I have got the canvas at last, and I am really going to begin 'The Last Trek' today." ...The subject appealed strongly to his feelings. It was of a scene I had myself witnessed in South Africa - a white hunter dying in the wilderness attended by his faithful Zulus. The title, too, seemed to please him...and after talking for some time on various points - such as the atmosphere of the southern plains, and the appearance of the parched and sun-cracked soil - he suddenly...putting his hand to his forehead, said solemnly and slowly. "This is going to kill me!"...An hour later he felt so extremely unwell that he retired to his own room downstairs, closing the studio door behind him for the last time. He had commenced, though he knew it not, 'The Last Trek'!".

All objects in this group

Object details

Artist/designer
Date
1895-6
Object type
Drawing
Medium
Black and white chalk on thick green/yellow wove paper
Dimensions

760 mm x 525 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
02/216
Acquisition
Given by Mary, Lady Millais 1945

recto

Title
Study for 'The Last Trek'
Artist/designer
Date
Probably 1896

verso

Title
Drawing of a woman in profile
return to start
back

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