A Huguenot on St Bartholomew’s Day (1852), Oil on canvas | artwork by John Everett Millais
Inspired by the opera, Les Huguenots, this painting is tender and bittersweet. Because of the fighting between Catholics and Huguenots (who were Protestant), the Queen Mother and King eventually decided to murder some of the most prominent Huguenot families. In this painting, the Huguenot man is gently pulling off the white armband she is attempting to place on him, a symbol of Roman Catholicism that would have saved his life, as it did many other Huguenots. This would have been instantly recognizable among the English who supported the Huguenots and were Protestant.
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