Ford Madox Brown ‘Take your Son, Sir’ ?1851–92

Artwork details

Artist
Ford Madox Brown 1821–1893
Title
‘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
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Miss Emily Sargent and Mrs Ormond in memory of their brother, John S. Sargent 1929
Reference
N04429
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

About this artwork