Portrait of Alfred Tennyson

LL 3613


The poet is wearing the old, flowing black cloak and wide-brimmed hat which, together with his dishevelled hair, showed his contempt for conventional social appearances and behaviour. Millais considered this his best portrait; the simple pose, with head and body facing directly forwards and placed exactly in the centre of the painting, blank background and very restrained colour range convey the abrupt and forceful character of the poet. They also suggest that Millais, like so many other artists in the 1880s, may have been influenced by Velazquez.