Steps in a Garden

William Henry Millais (British, 1828-1899)1860

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

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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  • Title: Steps in a Garden
  • Creator: William Henry Millais (British, 1828-1899)
  • Date Created: 1860
  • Physical Dimensions: 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.)
  • Provenance: D. Parkinson, (sale, Sotheby's, London, December 6, 1977, no. 36), (Maas Gallery, London), Helen and Albert Borowitz, Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2013.240
  • Medium: 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
  • Inscriptions: initialed, in orange paint over purple paint, at lower left: WHM; inscribed, in purple paint, at lower left: 1860
  • 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.
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: England, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Gift in memory of Helen Borowitz
  • Collection: DR - British
  • Accession Number: 2013.240

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