This second early compositional study for 'Chaucer at the Court of Edward III' is slightly more finished than the other compositional study in the collection (1906P680), although the trefoil arch is less drawn in. This suggests that it is a slightly later study. Already there are substantial differences between this drawing and the previous one. John of Gaunt is still on the left but looks less animated with his arm resting on his hip as opposed to raised in the air. There are two extra figures on the far left hand side one of which, the man in the medieval hood, can be seen in the final painting. Brown also made significant changes on the right. He included a jester which can be seen in all subsequent compositions though not in the same position. Interestingly the costume of the cleric depicted in this, and the drawing above, appears to have been based on tracing Brown took from Costume Historique, an historical sourcebook by Camille Bonnard (see 1906P737, 1906P738 and 1906P739). However, this figurelater changed into a cardinal (see 1906P780). In the left hand corner above the trefoil arch is a pencil sketch of the head of child in profile to the right. This may have been Brown's first daughter Lucy who would have been two in 1845.LM

  • Purchased and presented by subscribers, 1906.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Ford Madox Brown -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
[F] M Brown Rome/45
Signature and date bottom left Handwritten 1845 F cut off.. Brown ink.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Exhibition of the Works of Ford Madox Brown
190 (?) Grafton Galleries, London 1897 - 1897
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings
43 Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London 1947-09 - 1947-09
Some Pictures from Birmingham by British Artists
40 National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 1956 - 1956
Ford Madox Brown
51 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 1964 - 1964
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England
7 Seattle Art Museum 1995-03-09 - 1995-05-07
7 Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 1995-05-27 - 1995-07-16
7 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 1995-08-11 - 1995-10-15
7 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas 1995-11-04 - 1996-01-02
7 High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia 1996-01-23 - 1996-04-10
7 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1996-05-26 - 1996-09-29
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
7 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 2008-08-27 - 2008-12-14


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Ford Madox Brown: a Record of his Life and Works
F M Hueffer 1896 Longmans Green and Co., London repr. p. 447 et seq.
Exhibition of the Works of Ford Madox Brown
1897 Grafton Galleries, London p. 49
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons Ltd, Derby p. 31
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings
1947 Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London p. 12
The Nazarenes
Keith Andrews 1954 Oxford University Press, Oxford p. 81; repr. pl. 72b
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England
Stephen Wildman 1995 Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia p. 84, repr. p. 85
Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelite History-Picture
Lucy Rabin 1978 Garland Publishing, New York and London p. 98; repr. pl. 44
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London pp. 50, 64; repr. p. 42

Associated people

Name Type
The Black Prince -
Geoffrey Chaucer -
King Edward III -
King John of Gaunt -

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