Oliver Madox Brown as a baby

Ford Madox Brown 1821-93

Pencil, dated Jan 23 1855

Accession number WAG 10508

Pencil drawing of a baby

Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery,1984, with the assistance of the Art Fund

The artist's eldest son, drawn when three days old. Brown wrote in his diary for 20 January 1855:

'This morning at half past 12am Dearest Emma was delivered of a son, my first. He is very red, a large nose, eyes, and shape of face like a calmuck tartar.'

A few days later he wrote that he:

'drew at the boy without his cap and they said I had given him a cold. '

In accordance with Pre-Raphaelite truth to nature, Brown recorded the baby's appearance with loving exactitude, making no attempt to beautify him.

Oliver developed into a talented artist and writer but died of blood poisoning at the age of twenty.