This is one of two drapery studies for the poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) in Ford Madox Brown's discarded triptych 'The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry.' Brown did not complete the wings of the triptych but made the central panel into 'Chaucer at the Court of Edward III' (1851, oil on canvas, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). A small oil study, now at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, gives a good idea of the original triptych composition. Burns was one of the poets on the right wing. In the triptych he holds a scroll and pen and wears a tartan sash which Brown has left room for at the top of the drawing. This rather abstract-looking drapery study shows the intensity of Brown's preparations for a painting and his close observation of minute details such as the fall of the fabric. 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 London/48
Signature and date bottom right Handwritten 1847 Brown ink.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
18 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. 33
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London pp. 52, 65; repr. p. 23

Associated people

Name Type
Robert Burns Associated with

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