Ford Madox Brown

Chaucer at the Court of Edward III

1856–68

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1232 x 991 mm
frame: 1490 x 1263 x 115 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1906
Reference
N02063

Display caption

This picture is a replica of Ford Madox Brown’s largest and most ambitious painting, exhibited in 1851. It was significant for its portrayal of natural sunlight and was his first attempt ‘to carry out the notion ... of treating the light and shade absolutely, as it exists at any one moment, instead of approximately or in generalized style’. This pursuit of ‘truth to nature’ was consistent with Pre-Raphaelite ideals, as was his careful workmanship. The picture’s subject, Geoffrey Chaucer, reflects the growing popularity with artists of English literature instead of more conventional classical myths and biblical tales.

Gallery label, November 2016

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