Study for 'The Spirit of Justice', (sketch for composition and colour)

Ford Madox Brown, 1821 - 1893

Study for 'The Spirit of Justice', (sketch for composition and colour)

Ford Madox Brown 1821 - 1893


Study showing a hierarchy of figures which form an audience for the two figures in the foreground. On the right a woman, dressed in black, points accusingly at a knight on the left, dressed in armour and a maroon tunic. The woman holds a young child at her side, another child grasps her leg, looking up at its mother. Behind them, standing on the same level, are a variety of people, including peasants and other knights, their heads covered with elaborate helmets. Above the knights is a row of bishops and kings. At the top of the hierarchy is a woman dressed in white, a sword in her hand, her eyes covered with a band of white fabric. Other figures stand or sit either side of her, with a bright blue sky in the background.

Display Label

24 Study for Spirit of Justice 1844-5 Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper At the front a poor widow appeals to Justice against the oppression of a powerful Baron. The Baron is accompanied by his deceitful advisor. Above are the armed Barons who administer Justice, and behind them are the Bishops and Peers (Lords Spiritual and Temporal), appropriate for the intended position of the murals in the House of Lords. Justice, a blindfolded woman, sits at the top. Mercy and Erudition are on her right and Truth and Wisdom on her left. Manchester City Galleries

Object Name

Study for 'The Spirit of Justice', (sketch for composition and colour)

Creators Name

Ford Madox Brown

Date Created



framed: 107.3cm x 82cm
unframed: 75.7cm x 51.7cm

accession number


Place of creation







© Manchester Art Gallery

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