Francis Davis Millet's Between Two Fires
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Between Two Fires
Frank Millet 1846-1912, American artist
c. 1892 
Tate Gallery, London
Oil on canvas
74 x 93 cm (29 1/8 x 36 5/8)
Inscribed 'F.D. Millet' b.r.
Chantrey Purchase 1892 - N01611
Jpg: The Tate
From: Tate Gallery

Dr John A.P. Millet [the artist's son] wrote that 'Between Two Fires' is a very typical example of the style in which his father was trained at the Royal Academy in Antwerp. Like most other paintings of the period, it was executed in the 14th century Abbot's Grange in Broadway, Worcestershire, which Millet had salvaged from falling into complete disrepair, and had for many years used as a studio (he painted in the old refectory). A professional model - probably a certain Miss Green - posed for both the girls. Angelo Colarossi, Millet's regular model for male figures, was doubtless used for some of the routine poses for the Puritan, but the facial expression seems to have been taken from Lindsay Macarthur, a Highland landscape artist 'with a sardonic, biting humour, a quick temper and fierce loyalties', who was one of the group of artists living in or near Broadway at the period. Lindsay Macarthur was the model for another of Millet's pictures, 'The Black Sheep', now in the New Bedford Public Library in Massachusetts (letters of 15 December 1954 and 31 January 1955). 

(Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.520-1, reproduced p.520 )

Ian Davidson
ian  dav
Wed, 27 Oct 2004

Close examination of "Between Two Fires" shows holly around the chandelier. Celebrating Christmas was banned by the English Puritans in Cromwell's time. Is the holly what the argument was about? 



Chantrey Trustees (purchased from the artist 1892)

Exhibition History

RA, London, May-August 1892 (12); Art Exhibition, Hampstead Central Library, London, June-July 1928 (95); The Chantrey Collection, RA, London, January-March 1949 (33); Works from the Chantrey Collection, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, June-September 1950 (51); Victorian Paintings from the Tate Gallery, Public Library, Tunbridge Wells, July-August 1959 (1); Royal Academy of Arts Bicentenary Exhibition 1768-1968, RA, London, December 1968-March 1969 (407, repr. in illustrated supplement p.85)


RA Pictures (London 1892), p.31; Rockwell Kent (ed.), World Famous Paintings (New York 1939), pl.95 in colour; Samuel Isham and Royal Cortissoz, The History of American Painting (New York 1944), fig.90 


Alfred William Parsons (1847-1920) 
British Painter and illustrator
The Old House "The Priory" 
(or Refectory - part of Abbot's Grange --
Notice the windows) 

Abbots Grange


By:  Natasha Wallace
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Created  10/20/2003