21 September 2011
Last updated at 02:17
Artist Ford Madox Brown is being celebrated with an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Brown was a 19th Century painter who influenced and was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which sought to recapture the purity of 14th and 15th Century Italian art. His painting Work (pictured) is among his greatest creations.
Two of Brown's finest portraits, The Irish Girl (pictured), painted in 1860, and The English Boy, are exhibited together for the first time in 25 years. The model for The Irish Girl was a young orange seller.
In another landmark painting, The Last of England (1852-55), Brown depicted a middle-class couple leaving Britain for a new life in Australia during the mass emigration of the mid-19th Century. The faces of the couple are those of Brown and his wife Emma.
This self-portrait was drawn in 1850 when he was 29. During that period, he wrote a diary detailing his changing states of mind, ranging from intense elation to despair. The artist also worked as a book illustrator with William Morris and painted 12 large murals in Manchester Town Hall.
Geoffrey Chaucer Reading the Legend of Custance to Edward III and his Court was the first work in which Brown tried to capture the realistic effects of sunlight. His friend, the poet and Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was chosen to be the model for Chaucer while the piece was being painted.
Brown described An English Autumn Afternoon, painted from the first floor window of his lodgings in Hampstead, as "a literal transcript of the scenery round London, as looked at from Hampstead". Ford Madox Brown: Pre-Raphaelite Pioneer is on at Manchester Art Gallery until 29 January 2012.