This watercolour is a version of the wood-engraved illustration, executed by Joseph Swain, that accompanied the story The Anglers of the Dove by Harriet Martineau (1882-76) and appeared alongside the text in the 19 July 1862 edition of Once a Week. A label, signed by Millais, once on the back of the picture frame describes the scene as follows:A winter scene in a Farm house on the border of Needwood (?) Forest. Polly's mother had brought in some half perished ewes and lambs, which the warmth had revived and made to bleat which woke her sick child. The mother remarks 'they had made her neglect her own dear lamb and she leant over the crib on which lay her sick child quietly crying because the noise prevented him from sleeping'.

  • Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist John Everett Millais -
- Joseph Swain -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Monogram bottom left Handwritten - In red.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Winter Exhibition
214 Royal Academy of Arts, London 1898 - 1898
Winter Exhibition
239 Royal Academy of Arts, London 1906 - 1906
Loan exhibition of works by Madox-Brown and Pre-Raphaelites
207 City of Manchester Art Gallery 1911-09-14 - 1911-11
Millais, PRB, PRA
377 Royal Academy of Arts, London 1967-01-14 - 1967-03-05
377 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 1967-03-15 - 1967-04-30
Pre-Raphaelite Art from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
39 Hong Kong Museum of Art 1984-10-20 - 1984-12-02
John Everett Millais: Illustrator and Narrator
38 Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery 2004-10-16 - 2005-01-16
38 Leighton House, London 2005-02-18 - 2005-04-29


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Once a Week
1862-07-19 - p. 82.
Millais, PRB, PRA
Mary Bennett 1967 Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool p. 95.
John Everett Millais: Illustrator and Narrator
Paul Goldman 2004 Lund Humphries, Aldershot cat. no. 38 / B132.


Humphrey Roberts; James Richardson Holliday; bequeathed to City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1927.

Associated people

Name Type
Harriet Martineau Author

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