Monday, January 7, 2013

Infant's Repast - Study of a Mother and Child 1848

This is one of two studies for a small painting by Brown called 'Infant's Repast' (1848-49, oil on canvas, Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton) (see also 1906P679). The model was Mrs Ashley. She is mentioned several times in the artist's diary. In the first entry referring to her, made on 26 January 1848, he noted that she 'came at 11 stopped till four let fire out 3 times & talked all day, will never do.' However, he continued to use her as a model and on 13 October 1848 she began sitting for 'The Infant's Repast.' Brown's diary records that he 'sent for Mrs Ashley & child & began a scetch of them for a little picture of a mother and child.' She stopped modelling for him in 1849 but he unexpectedly bumped into her in a carriage on the way to Gravesend in 1854 (Virginia Surtees, ed., 'The Diary of Ford Madox Brown,' pp. 27 & 48).LM

Black and white chalk on paper.

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