Ford Madox Brown

‘Take your Son, Sir’

?1851–92

On display at Tate Britain

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

Display caption

This enigmatic picture shows the artist’s second wife, Emma, and their new-born son, Arthur Gabriel. The pose is reminiscent of a traditional Madonna and child but the mother’s strained expression suggests that this is not a conventional celebration of marriage and motherhood. The domestic details of the room are indicative of a contemporary-life subject in which the woman holds out the baby to her husband reflected in the mirror. Ford Madox Brown began the composition in 1851 and, although he worked on it over a number of years, abandoned it following the death of Arthur in 1857.

Gallery label, November 2016

Audio

MixTate: FaltyDL on Ford Madox Brown

For the fourth in our series, New York-based producer FaltyDL takes inspiration from Ford Madox Brown’s Take Your Son, Sir ...

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