Major late landscape by Millais donated to Tate

By Finbarr Bermingham | 10 March 2009
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A picture of two men standing in front of a painting

Geoffroy Millais and Stephen Deuchar, director at Tate Britain, with Dew-Drenched Furze. Pictury courtesy Tate

Dew-Drenched Furze, one of John Everett Millais’s most distinguished later landscape works, is to be donated to Tate Britain by one of the artist’s great-grandsons, it was announced today.

The 1890 painting, which is widely regarded as one of the great achievements of Millais’s later art, goes on show as part of the BP British Art Displays at Tate Britain opening March 11 2009.

Stephan Deuchar, Director of Tate Britain, said the Tate was “exceptionally grateful to Geoffroy Millais” for the gift, which is seen as an acknowledgement of the friendship between John Everett Millais and Sir Henry Tate, timed to mark the 190th anniversary of Tate’s birth.

“This exquisite work is one of the finest examples of Millais’s late landscapes and will significantly enhance Tate’s holdings from this important period in his oeuvre,” said a delighted Deuchar.

a man and a woman admire a painting

Geoffroy Millais and Millais Curator Alison Smith admire Dew-Drenched Furze. Picture courtesy Tate

Dew-Drenched Furze was painted on the Murthly estate in Perthshire, Scotland, and its abstract qualities and title are loose citations of Tennyson’s 1849 poem, In Memoriam A.A.H. It is one of 21 large-scale landscapes Millais painted in the locale in the last 26 years of his life, having been one of Britain’s most successful painters in the pre-Raphaelite movement of the 19th Century.

His great-grandson Geoffroy Millais is thrilled that his great-grandfather’s legacy has lived on: “I am overjoyed that it has captured the imagination of so many and that it is a painting – and such a late one - that Tate should wish to have. No-one will have wanted this more than the artist himself.”

The work was previously loaned to the Tate between 1996 and 2000 and was most recently exhibited in the Millais exhibition in 2007. It will join numerous other works by Millais, including one other late landscape, The moon is up and yet it is not Night, which is currently on view in the Tate Collection.

For further information visit www.tate.org.uk

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