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Chalk Drawing - Chaucer at the Court of Edward III - Study for the Head of Milton copied from Sculpture

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1906P719
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1848 - 1848

Maker Information

Artist:Ford Madox Brown - View biography for Ford Madox Brown


This study is for the figure of Milton, one of the poets in the wings of the abandoned triptych 'The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry.' Brown started the triptych in 1845 and had originally envisaged a central scene depicting Chaucer reading his poems to Edward III and his court, flanked by two wings filled with the figures and names of famous poets. However, he later discarded the side panels and the central portion became 'Chaucer at the Court of Edward III' (1851, oil on canvas, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). This study is for the head of Milton who is shown next to Spenser in the right compartment of the compositional oil sketch (1845-1851, oil on canvas, Ashmolean Museum). It is likely to have been copied from Michael Rysbrack's bust of 1737 on the monument to the poet in Westminster Abbey. In old age Milton went blind and Brown depicts the poet at this stage of his life, holding a stick to feel his way forward.

Purchased and presented by subscribers, 1906.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Black chalk on paper, laid down.
Place of Origin:London, England

Associated People


Height:163 mm
Width:176 mm