This sheet contains studies for the figure of John of Gaunt and the left hand of Geoffrey Chaucer in Brown's painting 'Wycliffe Reading his Translation of the Bible to John of Gaunt, in the Presence of Chaucer and Gower' (1848, oil on canvas, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford). This is one of a pair of drawings in the Birmingham collection which show the figure of Gaunt first nude and then clothed (1906P725). These studies reveal much about Brown's working process in the late 1840s. He began, as he had learnt in the art academies he attended in Belgium, by making studies of nude models in order to get the correct anatomical details of the pose. He then drew the figure clothed, often using a lay figure to keep the fabric absolutely still. This process, practised since the Renaissance, was believed to make the figure more exact. The study of the hand is for the figure of Chaucer who stands on the left with Gower.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
London / F M Brown/47
Signature and date bottom right Handwritten 1847 Brown ink.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Ford Madox Brown 1821-1893
57 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool 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. 40
Ford Madox Brown 1821-1893
Mary Bennett 1964 Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool p. 29
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London p. 70

Associated people

Name Type
John of Gaunt Associated with
Geoffrey Chaucer Associated with

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