Refusing to Shield Himself from Danger by Wearing the Roman Catholic Badge
1852: Manson and Woods Ltd., London
This scene of star-crossed love and religious heroism is set at the beginning of the notorious Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day. Over a period of several days from 24 August 1572, French Roman Catholics led by the duc de Guise slaughtered thousands of Protestants in Paris.
In this scene, we see a young Catholic girl trying to persuade her Huguenot lover to save himself by binding around his arm the white cloth that is to be the Catholic's means of identification. He resists, preferring to die rather than deny his faith.
Millais was inspired by the opera Les Huguenots by Meyerbeer.