Thursday, June 3, 2021

Ford Madox Brown: British painter

Ford Madox Brown (16 April 1821 – 6 October 1893) is a painter most often associated with Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Madox Brown was born in Calais and did not live permanently in England.

He had begun his apprenticeship to painting at Bruges, at Ghent, and for about three years at Antwerp. Having completed his art training, and after the death of his mother, in 1839, and his sister, in 1840, Brown decided to move to Paris, then the artistic center of Europe, where he remained until 1844.

Brown’s first works combining a medieval subject with a neo-medieval style were Wycliffe Reading his Translation of the Bible and Chaucer reading the Legend of Custance to Edward III.

His early paintings and drawings are more problematic and do not fit so easily into this image of Brown as an 'English' artist. A brief period followed in Rome where Brown became influenced by the Italian masters and leaned towards painting dramatic scenes with a darkened, reduced colour palette.

Brown was also involved in the collective creation of pseudo-medieval furniture and decorative objects. King René’s Honeymoon Cabinet aimed at reviving a time when labor and art were believed to be in harmony thanks to the influence of the Church. During his last creative decades, Brown painted various medieval subjects for the city of Manchester, in a curvilinear, almost Art-Nouveau style.

One of Brown’s best-known paintings is titled ‘The Last of England’ (1852-55).
Ford Madox Brown: British painter
Work by Ford Madox Brown

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