Sketch for the composition of 'Sir Isumbras at the Ford'

John Everett Millais 1829-96

Pencil, drawn around 1856

Accession number LL3604

sketch of a knight and two children riding a horse across a river

Purchased by Lord Leverhulme 1916 for the Lady Lever Art Gallery, 1922.

The painting for which this is a sketch is in the Lady Lever Art Gallery. It shows a medieval knight carrying two poor children across a river.

The drawing shows Millais originally intended the painting to be more square in shape, with arched corners at the top. The horse in the drawing is much smaller than in the oil painting. The knight is younger and his armour is less bulky.

Millais had a great deal of trouble with the proportions of the horse in the painting, and enlarged it so much that it was ridiculed by the art critics.