His most famous painting, ‘Work’, inspired by the ideas of Thomas Carlyle, and a possibly unique example of multiplex narrative after William Hogarth.
By 1852, he wasn’t making progress. The Pre-Raphaelite sculptor emigrated to Australia, and Brown thought seriously about going to India. Instead he painted ‘The Last of England’.
From Byron’s Faustian play ‘Manfred’ to the effects on family of the Crimean War, his paintings were often richly narrative, and only gently Pre-Raphaelite.
Charles knelt at the altar in front of the Pope on Christmas Day 800. When he rose, he was wearing the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. A surprise perhaps?
The Father of Europe, responsible for a renaissance during the Middle Ages, and Holy Roman Emperor – seen in paintings.
A fellow-student of Emile Claus, he painted scenes from the Vendée uprising, then took to history painting at the end of the 19th century.
Joseph-Nicolas taught his son Tony, who like his father was an academic history painter with a taste for human disasters. He also taught at the Académie Julian in Paris.
Is it just a quirky re-telling of the myth of Arachne and her weaving contest? What do the foreground and background have in common? A superb visual riddle, perhaps.
A sibyl, or an allegory of painting? Maybe the ‘maid of Corinth’ who legends says ‘invented’ painting. And are they spinners, or the story of Arachne?
Three religious paintings, including two skilfully-told narratives, a history, and the only nude of his to have survived.