Born in Southampton, Millais studied at the Royal Academy Schools in London. He became associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. So his work came to the attention of their early champion John Ruskin, the most influential art critic in England. The picture is one of a pair, the other is titled Asleep. The title of this one may suggest a wider wakening as the girl grows up, hence the discarded books and toys of childhood, above all, the open doored, empty birdcage above her head at which she gazes. The picture is highly detailed in its technique.

  • Material/Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Date: c. 1867
  • Creator: John Everett Millais
  • Accession number: 1/149
  • Category: Fine Art
  • Subject: n/a