The Bridesmaid, painted by Sir John Everett Millais
Although I’ve always found this painting beautiful and striking, I didn’t completely understand it until I read a description of it in Tim Barringer’s Reading the Pre-Raphaelites.
To the Victorians, marriage was extremely important. So was tradition. The bridesmaid pictured here is acting out a folk tale which was common at the time. The belief was that if a piece of wedding cake was passed through a ring nine times, you would have a vision of your true love.
Honestly, I never noticed the ring in her hands before. With the abundance of lovely locks, who can notice anything else?