The Morality of the Specific: Pre-Raphaelite Art
Artist: Ford Madox Brown
Era: Pre-Raphaelite Era (1852-65)
Historical Meaning: The Work of Madox Brown was regarded as one of the most important contributions that was made to the Pre-Raphaelite movement as it was a social realist art work, which essentially represented a crowd comprising of various social classes of the Victorian era, performing various tasks. The significance of this art work lies in its marvelous depiction of the kind of labor that the lower classes of the society had to perform during that era.
Colors: The art work has been painted by using bright and vibrant colors and the background is a white oil canvas.
Symbolism: At the time when the Victorian art was extremely unexciting and anticipatory in nature, Borwn’s art work essentially revolutionized this as his work was identified to be truly original in nature. Finishing and re-touching, two of the greatest weaknesses of Brown, were highly evident in the Work.
This particular painting of Brown is possibly one of the most exhaustive contemporary life subject. The most important allegory of this painting is the place that labor occupied in the Victorian era. It was perhaps a deliberate choice that Brown made to portray the various kinds of labor that the Victorian working class had to do during that period of history.
The Work represents a plethora of types of contrasting ideas, like for instance, idleness and labor, the rich and the poor, the unemployed, etc. There are a number of different kinds of laborers that Brown portrays in this paining like the street traders, construction workers, intellectuals, voluntary noble men who come forward to do some good, etc. In a nutshell, the highly evident theme in this masterpiece of Brown is the place held by work in the Victorian Era.
Easby, D. R. (n.d.). Ford Madox Brown, Work. Khan Academy. Retrieved January 19, 2016, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/becoming-modern/Victorian-art-architecture/pre-raphaelites/a/ford-madox-brown-work
Kim, H.-I. (2004, September 22). Ford Madox Brown: The Social Realism of Work. Retrieved from Victorian Web: http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/fmb/paintings/hikim2.html
Landow, G. P. (1989). Pre-Raphaelites: An Introduction. Retrieved from Victorian Web: http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/prb/1.html