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.