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Only a Lock of Hair
painting

Millais, Sir John Everett P.R.A., H.R.I., HRCA
Europe, United Kingdom, England
1857-1858

1917.268

oil paint
35.3 x 25 cm

More Details

Only a lock of hair about 1857-8
Sir John Everett Millais 1829-1896
Oil on panel

The young lady has cut off a lock of her hair.
The faraway thoughtfulness of her face
suggests all sorts of possibilities
lying behind this painted moment.

Hair became significant in Victorian world;
a lock like this was used as a memento
of love, birth or death.
The severe formal hairstyles of the Victorian women
were rejected by the Pre-Raphaelites
who saw free-flowing hair and loose dresses
as releases from the stifling rules of convention.

Millais' enigmatic works such as this,
blending portrait and narrative, were very popular.