Steps in a Garden

Steps in a Garden

1860

William Henry Millais

(British, 1828-1899)

Watercolor and gouache with scratch-away technique to create highlights on sturdy-weight wove paper mounted to same by artist with color tests in margins of mount

Support: Sturdy-weight, moderately textured, wove paper

Sheet: 33.8 x 26 cm (13 5/16 x 10 1/4 in.); Secondary Support: 39 x 32.4 cm (15 3/8 x 12 3/4 in.)

Gift in memory of Helen Borowitz 2013.240

Location

Fun Fact

William Henry Millais's brother John Everett was a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and encouraged the older artist to pursue landscape as a subject.

Description

William Henry Millais was closely associated with the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. He sketched extensively from nature in the early 1850s. Here, Millais painted a sequestered landscape of rough-hewn steps ascending a shady slope. A smattering of light pierces a dense canopy of trees, allowing little to flourish except for the foxgloves that adorn the foreground. Ivy growing on the hillside, a decaying stump, and moss-covered steps suggest the passage of time.

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