Lucy Madox Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lucy Madox Brown
Mrs. William Michael Rossetti by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.jpg
1874 portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Born (1843-07-19)19 July 1843
Paris, France
Died 12 April 1894(1894-04-12) (aged 50)
Sanremo, Italy
Nationality British
Movement Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Aesthetic Movement, Arts and Crafts Movement

Lucy Madox Brown Rossetti (19 July 1843 – 12 April 1894) was an artist, author and model associated with the Pre-Raphaelites and married to the writer and art critic William Michael Rossetti. She was the daughter of Ford Madox Brown and Elisabeth Bromley (1819–1846).

Early life[edit]

Born in 1843 in Paris, her mother died just three years later in 1846, and she was sent to live with her aunt Helen Bromley in Gravesend, Kent.[1] In 1856 she went to live with the Rossetti household in London and was tutored by her future sister-in-law, Maria Francesca Rossetti.[2] She visited the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition in 1857.[3] Her sister Catherine Madox Brown described her as "a strange mixture with a violent temper and a strong brain."[4]

Marriage and family[edit]

In the summer of 1873 she became engaged to William Michael Rossetti, and they married on 31 March 1874. William was the son of Gabriele Rossetti and the brother of Maria Francesca Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Christina Georgina Rossetti. There was a fourteen-year age gap between the couple but they had much in common: they were both agnostic, with strong views on art, feminism and liberal politics.[5] They honeymooned in France and Naples, Italy, in April 1874. They attempted to live with William's family but, due to religious differences with Christina Georgina Rossetti and her mother, Frances Rossetti, moved out to their own accommodation in Bloomsbury by the end of 1876.[6]

Their first child, Olivia Frances Madox, was born in September 1875, and their son, Gabriel Arthur, was born in February 1877, followed by Helen Maria, in November 1879, and twins, Mary Elizabeth and Michael Ford, in April 1881. Michael died in infancy.[5]

Artistic and literary career[edit]

The Duet by Lucy Madox Brown (1870)

She began painting in 1868, and along with her half sister Catherine, modelled and worked as an assistant under their father.[5] Other female Pre-Raphaelite artists such as Georgiana Burne-Jones, the sister of Thomas Seddon and Marie Spartali Stillman also took lessons in the same studio. Working mainly in watercolours, she exhibited in Dudley Museum and Art Gallery from 1869 to 1872.[7] Her painting, The Duet, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1870,[8] was described by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as a "perfect picture".[5] She stopped painting in 1874.

She wrote the biography of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Mrs. Shelley, for John Ingram's Eminent Women series and it was published in 1890.[9]

Death[edit]

From 1855 she suffered from consumption and went to Italy for her health during the winter. Due to her illness, sexual relations with her husband ceased by late 1892, according to William's letters.[10] She died on 12 April 1894 at the Hotel Victoria in Sanremo, Italy, in the presence of her husband and her daughter Olivia, and was buried in La Foce Cemetery.[5] Lucy's will left everything to her children, which Dinah Roe suggests was intended to protect them in the event William remarried in the future.[11]

List of works[edit]

  • The Duet, 1870. Exh. RA.
  • Romeo and Juliet, 1870, Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, UK.
  • Study for Romeo and Juliet, 28 x 33.6 cm, chalk on paper, sold Christie's sale Lots 26-35, £8,225.[12]
  • The Tempest, c. 1870, oil on canvas, private collection.
  • Après le Bal, 1870, watercolour, private collection.
  • The Magic Mirror, 1872, private collection.
  • Margaret Roper Receiving the Head of her Father 1873, oil on canvas, St Thomas More, Burford.

Work and portraits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: 1985), p. 38
  2. ^ Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: 1985), p. 104
  3. ^ Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: 1985), p. 117
  4. ^ Marsh, Jan, National Portrait Gallery: Insights The Pre-Raphaelite Circle (London: 2004), p. 115
  5. ^ a b c d e Thirlwell, Angela (2004). "Rossetti, (Emma) Lucy Madox Brown (1843–1894), painter and biographer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History,(London: Haus Publishing, 2011, pp. 277-280
  7. ^ Gaze, Delia, Dictionary of Women Artists, Volume 1, (London: Routledge, 1997) , p. 324
  8. ^ Thirlwell, Angela, Into The Frame: The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown (London: Chatto & Windus, 2010), p. 139
  9. ^ "Mrs Shelley". Librivox. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  10. ^ Peattie, Roger W., Selected Letters of William Michael Rossetti (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990) 'This change in my relations of affection and home- life is about the most painful thing that could...', p. xxviii
  11. ^ Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History,(London: Haus Publishing, 2011), p. 357
  12. ^ "Lucy Madox Brown". Retrieved 9 February 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]