[ LADY LEVER ART GALLERY ] [ FORD MADOX-BROWN ]
 


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  Born in Calais on 16 April 1821, Ford Madox Brown revealed a precocious talent for art at an early age. From 1836 to 1846 he studied drawing in Europe, first in Bruges with a pupil of David, later in Antwerp with Baron Wappers. He travelled to Paris and Rome, where he befriended Cornelius and Overbeck, survivors of the German Romantic Nazarene movement. In 1841 he produced his first important oil painting, taking the execution of Mary Queen of Scots as his subject. Back in England, he met Rossetti and became associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, although he never joined it. From 1850 on, however, his works, mainly on historical and religious themes, closely adhered to the Pre-Raphaelite precepts. He executed an important series of frescoes in the Manchester Town Hall (1880-93), illustrating episodes in the history of the city, and numerous stained-glass designs. His life was a continual succession of adversities and delusions; neglected by both the critics and the public, he never knew real success. He died in London on 11 October 1893.


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