Musée No:737.246Regular price £25.00
The Irish Girl
Artist: Ford Madox Brown
Ford Madox Brown, (1821—1893), English painter whose work is associated with that of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, although he was never a member and his work doesn’t show the hyper loveliness of their paintings. Brown studied art from 1837 to 1839 in Bruges and Antwerp, Belgium. His early works were 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. 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.
Brown struggled to make his mark in the 1850s, with his paintings failing to find buyers, and he considered emigrating to India. 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. Brown spent the latter years of his life painting the twelve works known as The Manchester Murals, depicting Mancunian history, for Manchester Town Hall.
This hauntingly beautiful young girl was discovered by the artist whilst she was selling oranges. A rich patron, Edward Plint, had commissioned a piece called 'Work' and this and it's companion piece The English Boy came from that work, maybe as preparatory studies, but I can't spot her in the finished painting.