The drawing depicts the scene in which Cordelia returns from France to aid her ailing father ('King Lear,' act IV, scene vii, 30-58). It was the first of the series to become a painting, 'Lear and Cordelia,' 1848-49, oil on canvas, Tate, London). The compositions are very similar but significantly in the drawing Lear is awake. The painting sets the scene more definitely in a tent by the sea whereas this setting is only suggested in the drawing with a few lines signifying the curtained entrance to the tent. 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 right Handwritten 1844 Brown ink.
Act IV. Sc VII
Inscription reverse top right Handwritten - In pencil.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Shakespeare in Pictures
4 Ulster Museum 1964 - 1964
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
4 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 2008-08-27 - 2008-12-14


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
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London pp. 49, 67; repr. p. 11

Associated people

Name Type
William Shakespeare -

Related work & resources

Discuss this work

Start a discussion about this work.

You need to login to discuss this work. Click here to login.

If you are not yet registered click here to become a member.
Find out more about membership