Saturday, July 19, 2008


Ford Madox Brown 1821-1893
Work (1852-1865)
Oil on canvas 137 x 197.3 cm
Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, England

Brown is associated with that of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, although he was never a member.

Brown's most important painting was Work (1852–1865), which he showed at a special exhibition.

It depicts various characters from different social backgrounds at work in a street in Hampstead

Brown wrote a catalogue to accompany the special exhibition of Work.

The moral value of work was much discussed in the middle of the 19th century. This painting reflects that debate.

Manchester Art Gallery has to be congratulated on its Internet presentation of this work. Its presentation is really a model of what one would like to see other Galleries doing with its treasures. Its presentations work on a number of levels from simply a detailed art history commentary to presentations appealing to younger ages. Its interactive teacher resource which is interactive is brilliant and even shows the actual street in Hampstead depicted as it is now. It has hardly changed.

Fascinating. The presentation of the work illustrates the great potentialities of the Internet.