Ford Madox Brown
|Died||6 October 1893 72) (aged|
|Resting place||St Pancras and Islington Cemetery|
| Work (painting) |
The Last of England (painting)
Ford Madox Brown (16 April 1821 – 6 October 1893) was a French-born British painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. Arguably, his most notable painting was Work (1852–1865). Brown spent the latter years of his life painting the twelve works known as The Manchester Murals , depicting Mancunian history, for Manchester Town Hall.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
William Hogarth FRSA was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects", perhaps best known being his moral series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".
Work (1852–1865) is a painting by Ford Madox Brown that is generally considered to be his most important achievement. It exists in two versions. The painting attempts to portray, both literally and analytically, the totality of the Victorian social system and the transition from a rural to an urban economy. Brown began the painting in 1852 and completed it in 1865, when he set up a special exhibition to show it along with several of his other works. He wrote a detailed catalogue explaining the significance of the picture.
Brown was the grandson of the medical theorist John Brown, founder of the Brunonian system of medicine. His great grandfather was a Scottish labourer. His father Ford Brown served as a purser in the Royal Navy, including a period serving under Sir Isaac Coffin and a period on HMS Arethusa. He left the Navy after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
John Brown was a Scottish physician and the creator of the Brunonian system of medicine.
The Brunonian system of medicine is a theory of medicine which regards and treats disorders as caused by defective or excessive excitation. It was developed by the Scottish physician John Brown and is outlined in his 1780 publication Elementa Medicinae. It drew on the theories of his teacher William Cullen, but whereas Cullen set out to create a systematic nosology of diseases, Brown argued for a unified model in which all disease was related to stimulation.
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.
In 1818, Ford Brown married Caroline Madox, of an old Kentish family, from which his middle name was taken.Brown's parents had limited financial resources, and they moved to Calais to seek cheaper lodgings, where their daughter Elizabeth Coffin was born in 1819 and their son Ford Madox Brown in 1821.
Calais is a city and major ferry port in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's prefecture is its third-largest city of Arras. The population of the metropolitan area at the 2010 census was 126,395. Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km (21 mi) wide here, and is the closest French town to England. The White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais. Calais is a major port for ferries between France and England, and since 1994, the Channel Tunnel has linked nearby Coquelles to Folkestone by rail.
Brown's education was limited, as the family frequently moved between lodgings in the Pas-de-Calais and relatives in Kent, but he showed artistic talent in copying of old master prints. His father initially sought a naval career for his son, writing to his former captain Sir Isaac Coffin. The family moved to Bruges in 1835 so Brown could study at the academy under Albert Gregorius. Brown moved to Ghent in 1836 to continue his studies under Pieter van Hanselaere. He moved to Antwerp in 1837 to study under Gustaf Wappers. He continued to study in Antwerp after his mother's death in 1839. His sister died in 1840, and then his father in 1842.
Pas-de-Calais is a department in northern France named after the French designation of the Strait of Dover, which it borders.
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.
Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country.
The Tate Gallery holds an early example of Brown's work, a portrait of his father.He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1840, a work inspired by Lord Byron's poem The Giaour (now lost) and then completed a version of The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, with his cousin and future wife Elisabeth Bromley as one of his models. He lived in Montmartre with his new wife and aging father in 1841. He painted Manfred on the Jungfrau , inspired by Lord Byron's poem Manfred while he was in Paris.
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, known simply as Lord Byron, was an English poet, peer, and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence, and is considered one of the historical leading figures of the Romantic movement of his era. He is regarded as one of the greatest English poets and remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.
The Giaour is a poem by Lord Byron first published in 1813 by John Murray and printed by Thomas Davison was the first in the series of his Oriental romances. The Giaour proved to be a great success when published, consolidating Byron's reputation critically and commercially.
Manfred: A dramatic poem is a closet drama written in 1816–1817 by Lord Byron. It contains supernatural elements, in keeping with the popularity of the ghost story in England at the time. It is a typical example of a Gothic fiction.
In 1843 he submitted work to the Westminster Cartoon Competition, for compositions to decorate the new Palace of Westminster. His entry, The Body of Harold Brought before William, was not successful. His early works were, however, greatly admired by the young Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who asked him to become his tutor. Through Rossetti, Brown came into contact with the artists who went on to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Though closely linked to them, he was never actually a member of the brotherhood itself, but adopted the bright colours and realistic style of William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. He was also influenced by the works of Holbein that he saw in Basel in 1845, and by Friedrich Overbeck and Peter Cornelius, whom he met in Rome in 1845-46.
The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England.
Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, generally known as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was a British poet, illustrator, painter and translator, and a member of the Rossetti family. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Rossetti was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three founders were joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form the seven-member "brotherhood". Their principles were shared by other artists, including Ford Madox Brown, Arthur Hughes and Marie Spartali Stillman. A later, medievalising strain inspired by Rossetti included Edward Burne-Jones and extended into the twentieth century with artists such as John William Waterhouse.
Brown struggled to make his mark in the 1850s, with his paintings failing to find buyers, and he considered emigrating to India. In 1852 he started work on two of his most significant works.
One of his most famous images is The Last of England , painted from 1852 to 1855, which was sold in March 1859 for 325 Guineas 26,700). It depicts a pair of stricken emigrants as they sail away on the ship that will take them from England forever. It was inspired by the departure of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner, who had left for Australia. In an unusual tondo format, the painting is structured with Brown's characteristic linear energy, and emphasis on apparently grotesque and banal details, such as the cabbages hanging from the ship's side. The husband and wife are portraits of Brown and his second wife Emma.(2010: £
Brown's most important painting was Work (1852–1865), begun in Hampstead in 1852 and which he showed at his retrospective exhibition in 1865. Thomas Plint advanced funds to enable Brown to complete the work, in anticipation of obtaining the finished painting, but died in 1861 before the painting had been completed. – and, symbolically, in the social fabric. Each character represents a particular social class and role in the modern urban environment.In this painting, Brown attempted to depict the totality of the mid-Victorian social experience in a single image, depicting 'navvies' digging up a road (Heath Street in Hampstead, north London) and disrupting the old social hierarchies as they did so. The image erupts into proliferating details from the dynamic centre of the action, as the workers tear a hole in the road
Brown wrote a catalogue to accompany the special exhibition of Work. This publication included an extensive explanation of Work that nevertheless leaves many questions unanswered. Brown's concern with the social issues addressed in Work prompted him to open a soup kitchen for Manchester's hungry, and to attempt to aid the city's unemployed to find work by founding a labour exchange.
Brown found patrons in the north of England, including Plint, George Rae from Birkenhead,John Miller from Liverpool, and James Leathart from Newcastle. By the late 1850s he had lost patience with the poor reception he received at the Royal Academy and ceased to show his works there, rejecting an offer from Millais to support his becoming an associate member. He founded the Hogarth Club in 1858, with William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, and his former pupil Rossetti. After a successful period of a few years, the club reached over 80 members, including several prominent members of the Royal Academy, but Brown resigned in 1860, and the club collapsed in 1861.
From the 1860s, Brown also designed furniture and stained glass. He was a founder partner of William Morris's design company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., in 1861, which dissolved in 1874 with Morris continuing on his own. He was a close friend of the landscape artist Henry Mark Anthony.
Brown's major achievement after Work was The Manchester Murals , a cycle of twelve paintings in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall depicting the history of the city. Brown would be 72 by the time he finished the murals. In total, he took six years perfecting the murals, which were his last major work.
Ford Madox Brown was married twice. His first wife Elizabeth Bromley was his first cousin, the daughter of his mother's sister Mary. They were married in Meopham in Kent in April 1841, shortly before his 20th birthday and less than a year after the sudden death of his sister Elizabeth. They lived in Montmartre in 1841 with Brown's invalid father who died the following summer.
Their first child died young as an infant in November 1842. Their daughter Emma Lucy was born in 1843 and the family moved back to England in 1844. They travelled to Rome in 1845 to alleviate the illness of his wife, who was suffering from consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis). She died in Paris in June 1846, aged 27, on the journey back to England from Rome.
Emma Hill became a frequent model for Brown from 1848; for example, she is the wife in The Last of England . She became his mistress, and they shared a house in London, but social convention made him unable to marry an illiterate daughter of a bricklayer. Their daughter Catherine Emily was born in 1850, and eventually they were married at St Dunstan-in-the-West in April 1853.
Their son, Oliver Madox Brown (1855–1874) (known as Nolly) showed promise both as an artist and poet, but died of blood poisoning before his maturity. The death of Nolly was a crushing blow for Brown, and he kept a room for his son's belongings as a shrine. Another son Arthur was born in September 1856. Brown used Arthur as the model for the baby held by a ragged girl in the foreground of Work, but he died aged only ten months old in July 1857.
His daughters Lucy and Catherine were also competent artists. Lucy married William Michael Rossetti in 1874. Catherine, married Francis Hueffer; through Catherine, Brown was the grandfather of novelist Ford Madox Ford and great-grandfather of Labour Home Secretary Frank Soskice.
Brown's second wife died in October 1890, and he died in Primrose Hill, north London, in 1893. He is buried in the St Pancras and Islington Cemetery in East Finchley.He was given a secular funeral, and the funeral oration was delivered by the American Moncure D. Conway, the secularist after whom Conway Hall was later named.
The J D Wetherspoon pub in Oxford Road, Manchester is named after Ford Madox Brown.It states on the Wetherspoon's website that "This J D Wetherspoon pub is named after the much-travelled artist Ford Madox Brown, a one-time resident of Victoria Park, a suburb south of the pub." The pub opened in 2007.
Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall, styled and commonly known as Elizabeth Siddal, was an English artist, poet, and artists' model. Siddall was an important and influential artist and poet. Significant collections of her artworks can be found at Wightwick Manor and the Ashmolean. Siddall was painted and drawn extensively by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including Walter Deverell, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Frederic George Stephens was a British art critic, and one of the two 'non-artistic' members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
The legacy of a family's passion for Victorian art and design, Wightwick Manor is a Victorian manor house located on Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Owned by the National Trust since 1937, the Manor and its grounds are open to the public. It is one of only a few surviving examples of a house built and furnished under the influence of the Aesthetic movement and Arts and Crafts movement. The house is in a grand version of the half-timbered vernacular style, of which the most famous original example is Little Moreton Hall a few miles away.
William Michael Rossetti was an English writer and critic.
The Last of England is an 1855 oil-on-panel painting by Ford Madox Brown depicting two emigrants leaving England to start a new life in Australia with their baby. The painting has an oval format and is in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
The Scapegoat (1854–1856) is a painting by William Holman Hunt which depicts the "scapegoat" described in the Book of Leviticus. On the Day of Atonement, a goat would have its horns wrapped with a red cloth – representing the sins of the community – and be driven off.
The Manchester Murals are a series of twelve paintings by Ford Madox Brown in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall and are based on the history of Manchester. Following the success of Brown's painting Work he was commissioned to paint six murals for its Great Hall. Another six murals were to be completed by Frederic Shields who later withdrew, leaving Brown to complete all twelve works. The murals were begun in 1879, towards the end of Brown's career, but were not completed until 1893, the year he died. During this period he moved from London to Manchester with his family, first living in Crumpsall and then Victoria Park.
Frederic James Shields was a British artist, illustrator and designer closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelites through Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ford Madox Brown.
Beata Beatrix is a painting completed in several versions by Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The painting depicts Beatrice Portinari from Dante Alighieri's poem La Vita Nuova at the moment of her death. The first version is oil on canvas completed in 1870.
Desperate Romantics is a six-part television drama serial about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, first broadcast on BBC Two between 21 July and 25 August 2009.
Annie Miller (1835–1925) was an English artists' model who, among others, sat for the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais. Her on-off relationship with Holman Hunt has been dramatised several times.
Thomas Edward Plint, (1823–1861) was a stockbroker and important Pre-Raphaelite art collector who commissioned and owned several notable paintings. In 1839, with his friend Charles Reed, he started and edited a magazine called The Leeds Repository.
The Tristram and Isoude stained glass panels are a series of 13 small stained-glass windows made in 1862 by Morris, Marshall, Faulker & Co. for Harden Grange, the house of textile merchant Walter Dunlop, near Bingley in Yorkshire, England. Depicting the legend of Tristan and Iseult, they were designed by six of the leading Pre-Raphaelite artists of the day, to an overall design by William Morris. They were acquired in 1917 by Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, which is now part of Bradford Museums & Galleries. They can be seen on display at Cliffe Castle, Keighley.
Peter Paul Marshall was a Scottish civil engineer and amateur painter, and a founding partner of the decorative arts firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co.
Found is an unfinished oil painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, now in the Delaware Art Museum. The painting is Rossetti's only treatment in oil of a contemporary moral subject, urban prostitution, and although the work remained incomplete at Rossetti's death in 1882, he always considered it one of his most important works, returning to it many times from the mid-1850s until the year before his death.
Lucy Madox Brown Rossetti was an artist, author and model associated with the Pre-Raphaelites and married to the writer and art critic William Michael Rossetti. She was the daughter of Ford Madox Brown and Elisabeth Bromley (1819–1846).
Catherine Madox Brown Hueffer, also known as Cathy, the first child of Ford Madox Brown and Emma Hill, was an artist and model associated with the Pre-Raphaelites and married to the writer Francis Hueffer.
Fanny Eaton was a Jamaican-born artist's model and domestic worker. She is best known for her work as a model for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their circle between 1859–67. Her public debut was in Simeon Solomon's The Mother of Moses, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1860. She was also featured in works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Joanna Mary Boyce, Rebecca Solomon, and others.
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