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After the success of My First Sermonat the Royal Academy exhibition in 1863, Millais painted a companion piece the following year, showing the same little girl - his daughter Effie - in church after the novelty of going has worn off. In his speech at the next Royal Academy Banquet, the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed the picture was a warning against ‘the evil of lengthy sermons and drowsy discourses’. Millais (and his largely middle class audience) were well aware of the gap between ideals and reality, and this witty follow-up toFirst Sermon reveals a taste for amusing, affectionate imagery that was relatable to many Victorian parents.

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