This is a full length for the figure of Geoffrey Chaucer who stands on the right 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). It is one of a pair of drawings in the Birmingham collection which show the figure of Chaucer first nude (1906P736) and then clothed. 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. 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.


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: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London p. 70

Associated people

Name Type
Geoffrey Chaucer Associated with

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