The Nosegay

Ford Madox Brown 1821-93

Watercolour, painted in 1867

Accession number LL3639

Picture of a lady in a summery dress holding flowers with a cat rubbing up against her

Purchased by Lord Leverhulme 1918 for the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

This is an unusually pretty subject for Brown. It was done for a collector who wanted a companion picture to a watercolour of a boy praying, by William Henry Hunt. The artist's second daughter Cathy modelled for it. The profusion of flowers and the cat rubbing against her dress suggests a mood of sensual pleasure, in contrast to the spirituality of the Hunt watercolour.

This is a sketch for the final watercolour, which is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. The face on the Oxford version is more idealised than ours. After completing the final version, Brown was asked to finish off the sketch for another collector.