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Chalk Drawing - Chaucer at the Court of Edward III - Drapery for Milton

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1906P743
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1847 - 1847

Maker Information

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


This is a drapery study for Brown's proposed triptych 'The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry.' The central panel of the triptych was a depiction of Chaucer reading to Edward III and his court. This was flanked by two wings filled with the figures of great English poets. A small oil study for the triptych is now at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He began studies for the painting whilst in Rome in 1845. However, he subsequently realised the project was too big and abandoned the wings. The central panel became 'Chaucer at the Court of Edward III' (1851, oil on canvas, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). This drawing is for the figure of John Milton (1608-1674)who was one of the poets in the left wing of the triptych. In old age Milton went blind and Brown depicts him 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.

Associated People


Height:355 mm
Width:200 mm