Monday, June 30, 2008

The Huguenot, by John Everett Millais

In this picture, a Huguenot (French Protestant) comforts his Catholic lover in the face of impending death in the massacre of 1572. She attempts to protect him by giving him a white ribbon, the mark of Catholic loyalty.

To be honest, I really don't like this picture. The reason being that I am really bothered by the fact that he has a Catholic lover in the first place.

If he is willing to die for his Protestant faith, why is he dating a Catholic? Is he planning on marrying her? Does his mate's faith not matter to him? If his faith is not important enough to determine the choice of who he chooses as a life partner, is it really a faith worth dying for? I really struggle with these thoughts when I look at this painting.


Rose~ said...

Interesting thoughts, Matthew. :~)

Celestial Fundie said...



Not disputing what you write, Matthew, but my understanding of the St Bartholomew massacre was that it was secretly sprung on the Protestants in France. There are a whole load of possibilities about this picture ... unless of course its painter has left us what interpretation to put on it. I must bow to your knowledge on that score (!)


Celestial Fundie said...

Colin, I would not for a moment want to trivialize the terrible sacrifice made by the French Huguenots. This event must never be forgotten by Protestants.

I understand the event of the picture actually takes place on St. Bartholomew's Day.

It does seem clear that the young man in the picture has a Catholic lover. It is hard not to see a little incongruity in this relationship.

Every Blessing in Christ