On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
The Escape of a Heretic, 1559
Sir John Everett Millais British
The woman’s yellow smock and the hat at her feet indicate that she has been condemned for violating Catholic doctrine during the brutal Spanish Inquisition. Her rescuer, dressed as a friar, disguises her in hooded religious robes. The true friar behind them has been bound and gagged with a rosary. Although the scene is set in the sixteenth century, the Inquisition was not definitively abolished until 1834—within the lifetimes of some of Millais’s viewers. He earned popular success with scenes of romance and danger, but this work was too melodramatic for some critics.