\qjIn 1846 Ford Madox Brown began the black chalk cartoon Oure Ladye of Saturday Night. The cartoon depicts a Madonna-like mother washing her child, aided by an angel and according to Brown it represents the English ritual of bathing children before going to bed. The cartoon was rejected by the RA but exhibited in Liverpool in 1847. Between 1857 and 1858 it was included in an American exhibition of Pre-Rapahelite art organised by Ford Madox Brown and William Michael Rossetti. In the accompanying catalogue it was retitled Oure Ladye of Good Children. He reworked it in 1854 with a view to selling it to his dealer D. T. White and in the 1861 he added colour to it.This early sheet of drawings is a mixture of sketches and studies for all the figures in the cartoon. It reveals how Brown played with poses on paper before deciding on the final composition. The largest sketch on the right is a very early compositional sketch and may have been the first time Brown had put his thoughts onto paper. It contains the all the main figures but the angel saying prayers with another child in the background is barely discernable. Brown retained the cloth backdrop and the arched shape of the scene in the final version. Four other sketches depict various poses for the angel holding a bowl of water and show Brown gradually working towards the profile pose of the angel in the final version. The last sketch is for the angel in the background. This pose already seems very close to that in the final version although there are slight variations in the angel's arms and the angel of the cross she holds. Kenneth Bendiner follows Hueffer who implies that Brown begun cartoon in 1847 but as this sheet is dated 1846 it seems he may have begun it earlier. 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
Sketches & studies for a cartoon of "Oure Layde of Saturday Night Black Heath / F. M B./46
Inscription below image Handwritten 1846 brown ink


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 p. 447
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
1939 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery p. 38
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch 2008 D. Giles Limited, London p. 68

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