Ford Madox Brown
'Take your Son, Sir' ?1851-92

Artwork details

Ford Madox Brown 1821–1893
'Take your Son, Sir'
Date ?1851-92
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 705 x 381 mm
frame: 874 x 550 x 50 mm
No information available
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1840

Display caption

This enigmatic picture shows the artist's second wife, Emma, and their new-born son. The pose is reminiscent of a traditional Madonna and child but the mother's strained expression suggests that this is not a celebration of marriage and motherhood. The domestic details of the room are indicative of a contemporary-life subject in which this could be a kept woman offering her illegitimate child to its father, the figure reflected in the mirror. Ford Madox Brown began this picture in 1851 and although he worked on it over a number of years it remained unfinished at his death.

July 2007

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