Brown's reasons for making this colourful design of ornamental patterns remains unclear. He enjoyed designing furniture, wall paper and stained glass for Morris, Marshall Faulkner and Co. which he cou-founded in 1863, but this design pre-dates his involvement with the company. The architectural historian Kathryn Ferry suggests that 'Elavations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra' by Owen Jones (1845) may have been the source of these designs as it contains 'pages of pattern including the borders of mosaic dados as illustrated later in the Grammar of the Ornament' ('Ford Madox Brown:The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite,' ex. cat., p. 66). She also suggests that the central orange portion may have been inspired by medieval manuscripts. However, it appears that Brown may well have been using 'Grammar of the Ornament' as a spring board for his own designs as there are a number of illustrations that are similar, but not identical, to each of the patterns Brown has created on this sheet unlike 'Elavations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra' which only includes the Moorish designs. As 'Grammar of the Ornament' was published in 1856 it may be another case of Brown incorrectly back dating his work.LM

  • Bequeathed by James Richardson Holliday, 1927.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Ford Madox Brown -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Ford M Brown London / 1850
Signature and date bottom left Handwritten 1850 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. 48
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London p. 66

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