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Chalk Drawing - Angels Watching the Crown of Thorns - Study of clasped Hands

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1906P727
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1846 - 1846

Maker Information

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


This is a study of clasped hands for the lost painting 'Angels watching the Crown of Thorns.' Brown made this drawing whilst on holiday with his three year old daughter Lucy at Southend. The picture was originally called 'Seraph's Watch' and it is likely that the two angels were modelled on Lucy and her playmate Milly Smith, the landlord's daughter. According to Mary Bennett it was exhibited at the British Institute in 1847 under the title of 'A Reminiscence of the early Masters' ('Ford Madox Brown at Southend in 1846: Some Lost paintings,' Burlington Magazine, vol. 115, no. 839, February 1973, pp. 74). When Dante Gabriel Rossetti was tutored by Brown in the summer of 1848 he made a copy of the painting which was later left with Holman Hunt . This is now known from a plate in volume one of Holman Hunt's biographical memoir 'Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood' and gives a good idea of what the lost original must have looked like. Hunt told Brown's biographer Ford Madox Hueffer that 'the principal characteristic of the work was its "German" balance of composition' (Hueffer, Ford Madox Brown: A Record of his Life and Works, 1896, p. 43).

Purchased and presented by subscribers, 1906.

Further Information

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

Associated People


Height:166 mm
Width:280 mm