John Everett Millais 'The prodigal son', from William Allingham The Parables of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
(Routledge, 1864)
C.194.b.15   17.5x13.5 cm

Wood-engraved by Dalziel Brothers

The prodigal son
  Black and white wood-engraved illustration, 1855-1870

Millais (1829-96) was not only the most versatile of the Pre-Raphaelite illustrators but also by far the most prolific. His earliest illustration was published in 1852, and thirty years later he was still providing publishers with designs. The twenty drawings for The Parables, a commission he originally accepted in 1857 on condition that he might take time over the work, mark a high point in his career. For these powerful designs he broke with tradition and relocated the timeless texts into native, and sometimes even his beloved Scottish, settings.