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John Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  The Matyr of the Solway  Oil on canvas, 1871  56.5 x 60.3 cm  (22.24
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Title: The Matyr
Description:
 
John Everett Millais (8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896)
The Matyr of the Solway
Oil on canvas, 1871
56.5 x 60.3 cm
(22.24" x 23.74")
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, United Kingdom

The martyr of the title was Margaret Wilson, a member of the Free Church who refused to recognise the established Church of Scotland. The painting shows her chained to rocks on the Solway Firth she and a friend were condemned to death by drowning in 1685. It is said that as the tide rose she defiantly quoted and sang from scripture, and witnesses described how her hair floated around her head like a halo in the clear water. 


The painting we see shows Margaret wearing an open-neck blouse, however when conservators x-rayed the piece they found that this poignant picture was originally a nude. The Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais had painted Margaret in around 1871 without her shirt, with clothing being added later to placate delicate Victorian sensibilities.

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John Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  James Wyatt and His Granddaughter Mary  Oil on panel, 1849  35.6 x 45.1 cm  Private collectionJohn Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  The Matyr of the Solway  Oil on canvas, 1871  56.5 x 60.3 cm  (22.24John Everett Millais (8 June 1829  13 August 1896)  St. Agnes Eve  Wood engraving, 1857  4.5 x 3.3 inches  Private collection
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