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Watercolour - Love


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1862 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    John Everett Millais, born 1829 - died 1896 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink and watercolour wash

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This image of two lovers clasped in each other’s arms is based on a poem of the same name – ‘Love’. The poem is by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and describes a lovers' midnight meeting. It appeared in an illustrated edition of Poets of the Nineteenth Century published by the Dalziel brothers in 1857. They were key figures in the printed book trade at this time and commissioned the work of artists for their editions.

This watercolour was painted some five years later by the British artist John Everett Millais (1829-1896). He was a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of 19th-century painters, poets and writers who looked to early Renaissance painters for inspiration. Here, for example, Millais has shown the lovers in ‘medieval’ dress.

Physical description

Watercolour depicting two lovers embracing against a moonlit garden landscape. There is a rabbit in the background. Pen and ink and blue watercolour wash, probably touched with watercolour.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


ca. 1862 (painted)


John Everett Millais, born 1829 - died 1896 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink and watercolour wash

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 13.3 cm, Width: 10.7 cm

Object history note

Engraved on wood by Dalziel Bros. on p.137 of The Poets of the Nineteenth Century , edited by R.A. Wilmott, 1867. Reproduced in

Descriptive line

Watercolour, Love, by Millais

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Willmott, Robert Aris (ed), The Poets of the Nineteenth Century ,( London: George Routledge, 1857), p.137
Goldman, Paul, John Everett Millais: Illustrator and Narrator , (Aldershot: Hants, 2004)
Jason Rosenfeld and Alison Smith Millais London: Tate Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-185437-667-1.


Pen and ink; Wash



Subjects depicted

Trees; Rabbit; Moon; Lovers; Love


Drawings; Paintings; Images Online; Illustration


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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