Saturday, January 12, 2008

Millais and Newman

Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt (1829-1896),
John Henry Newman
Oil on canvas, 1881
47 3/4 in. x 37 1/2 in. (1213 mm x 953 mm)
National Portrait Gallery, London
On display at Arundel Castle, Arundel

The Cardinal came to Millais` studio in Palace Gate. He found the marble stairs difficult due to his age. The artist and the carinal met for the first time at the first siting.

The Cardinal was rather astonished by Millais` opening remark: "What a beautiful complexion you have, Mr Cardinal; I declare you`ve the complexion of a child."

The Cardinal was yet more astonished later by the artist.

"Oh, your eminence, on that eminence, if you please," Millais said, waving Cardinal Newman to a model's throne. "The attendant priests were somewhat scandalised when, seeing the cardinal hesitate, [Millais] added, 'Come, jump up, you dear old boy.' "

But Newman made no comment when the artist doing his portrait, whimsically offered to include Cardinal Manning’s head at no extra cost.