Lucy Madox Brown
Lucy Madox Brown
1874 portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
|Born||19 July 1843|
|Died||12 April 1894 (aged 50)|
|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).
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. In 1856 she went to live with the Rossetti household in London and was tutored by her future sister-in-law, Maria Francesca Rossetti. She visited the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition in 1857. Her sister Catherine Madox Brown described her as "a strange mixture with a violent temper and a strong brain."
Marriage and family
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. 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.
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.
Artistic and literary career
She began painting in 1868, and along with her half sister Catherine, modelled and worked as an assistant under their father. 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. Her painting, The Duet, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1870, was described by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as a "perfect picture". She stopped painting in 1874.
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. 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. 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.
List of works
- 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.
- 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
Portrait of Lucy Madox Brown by her father, Ford Madox Brown
- Reproduction of Portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti at the Rossetti Archive.
- Portrait by Dante Gabriel Rossetti at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands.
- Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: 1985), p. 38
- Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: 1985), p. 104
- Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: 1985), p. 117
- Marsh, Jan, National Portrait Gallery: Insights The Pre-Raphaelite Circle (London: 2004), p. 115
- 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.
- Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History,(London: Haus Publishing, 2011, pp. 277-280
- Gaze, Delia, Dictionary of Women Artists, Volume 1, (London: Routledge, 1997) , p. 324
- Thirlwell, Angela, Into The Frame: The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown (London: Chatto & Windus, 2010), p. 139
- "Mrs Shelley". Librivox. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- 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
- Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History,(London: Haus Publishing, 2011), p. 357
- "Lucy Madox Brown". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Rossetti, (Emma) Lucy Madox Brown (1843–1894), painter and biographer, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Thirlwell, Angela, Into The Frame: The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown (London: Chatto & Windus, 2010)
- ---., William and Lucy: The Other Rossettis. (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2003), ISBN 0-300-10200-3
- Marsh, Jan and Nunn, Pamela Gerrish, Women Artists and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement (London: Virago, 1989)
- Marsh, Jan, Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, (London: Quartet, 1985), ISBN 9780704301696
- Roe, Dinah The Rossettis in Wonderland. A Victorian Family History(London: Haus Publishing, 2011), ISBN 978-1-907822-01-8
- Garnett, Richard (1901). . In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Gaze, Delia, Dictionary of Women Artists, Volume 1 (London: Routledge, 1997)
- Peattie, Roger W., Selected Letters of William Michael Rossetti (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990)
- Thirlwell, Angela (2004). "Rossetti, (Emma) Lucy Madox Brown (1843–1894)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.