A study of 'Lucy Madox Brown', 1847, Ford Madox Brown

Portrait in pencil of a young girl in profile

13.5cm x 16.3cm
Accession Number WAG10504

This is one of five studies drawn between 1847 and 1857 depicting Madox Brown|’s four children. They are part of a substantial group of drawings of his children made for personal record and also as studies for future paintings.

The eldest child, Lucy (1843-94) was born to his first wife. She is shown, aged four, on 5 December 1847. This seems to have been an important drawing for Madox Brown as a focus for the grief he felt at the loss of his wife. In his diary for that day he recorded that he ‘drew a little head of my beautiful babe. It is today 18 months since the death of my poor wife. These are thoughts that I must banish, it unnerves me. I have dedicated the day to my child and the memory of her mother’. The inscription ‘To Cathy’ was added at a later date.

In later life, Lucy married the brother of the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti|.