This sheet contains drawings for King Lear on both sides. On one side is the scene in which Kent accuses Oswald of disloyalty to Lear (act II, sc. iv, 50-125). In the centre is Kent railing against Oswald who stands forlornly on the rights in crossed garters, with his sword clearly visible as described in the text. The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, holds the drawing of the scene which directly preceeds this one in which Kent challenges Oswald and they quarrel. It also holds the proceeding scene depicting Lear discovering Kent in the stocks, punishment for his troublemaking.On the reverse of this drawing is a sketch for the scene in which Lear complains to Regan of Goneril's unkindness (act II, sc. iv, 122-32). The Whitworth hold the finished drawing of this scene. Brown's grandson Foed M. Hueffer owned a third study that included elements of both the sketch and the finished drawing but its current location is unknown. Despite the looseness of this sketch all the elements of the final composition can be seen: Lear and Regan surrounded by Gloucester and Cornwall, the Fool and Kent in the background on the right, and the castle in the background on the left. The only changes that Brown made were to the central group; in the final version Gloucester leans forwards on a walking stick, not to the side, and Lear does not use both hands to hold Regan's but makes a gesture of dissatisfaction with his right one. In the Whitworth drawing Brown also lowered Lear and Regan's joined hand so that it is almost at the centre of the composition, perhaps highlighting the daughter's treachery.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
Ford M Brown Paris/44
Signature and date bottom left Handwritten - Brown ink.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings
38 \sl240\slmult0Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London 1947-09 - 1947-09
Shakespeare in Pictures
no. 4 Ulster Museum 1964 - 1964


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons Ltd, Derby p. 30
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings
1947 Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London p. 11
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London p. 67

Associated people

Name Type
William Shakespeare Author

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