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This is Millais's first important religious subject, showing a scene from the boyhood of Christ. When it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1850 it was given no title, but accompanied by a biblical quotation: 'And one shall say unto him, What are those wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.' (Zech. 13:6) Christian symbolism figures prominently in the picture.
Oil on canvas
H 86.4 x W 139.7 cm
Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and various subscribers 1921