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

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Artwork details

Artist
Ford Madox Brown (1821‑1893)
Title
'Take your Son, Sir'
Date ?1851-92
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 705 x 381 mm frame: 874 x 550 x 50 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Miss Emily Sargent and Mrs Ormond in memory of their brother, John S. Sargent 1929
Reference
N04429
On loan to Palazzo Chiablese (Turin, Italy)

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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