The Bromley Family

Ford Madox Brown, 1821 - 1893

The Bromley Family

Ford Madox Brown 1821 - 1893


Family portrait in a garden setting of the Bromley family. Two men stand at the back of the group facing each other in discussion, each leaning against a single tree on right and left sides. In the middle of the group are two women in pale decollete dress, one seen in side profile, engaged in conversation with the men behind, the other leaning forward to face the front; both hold posies in their hands. Two women are seated at the front, the woman on the left, wears a black dress, has ringleted hair partly covered with a lace cap; she is seated facing the viewer and holds a pair of glasses in her left hand. The woman on the right wears a dark green dress, and has her right arm draped over the arm of a chair in which the other woman is sitting; she leans over to the right of her left arm, her gaze directed to the left of the picture. In the foreground, on the right, a vase with flowers stands on a low table, and in the left corner a basket is partially covered with ivy. A small dog faces the viewer in the centre, standing on its hind legs, its front legs resting on a book on the table. A rural landscape is visible in the background.

Display Label

Gallery text panel The Pre-Raphaelites in their Time Britain's first and best-known radical art movement emerged from within the Royal Academy in 1848. Its original members were rebellious art students who were disillusioned with contemporary practice. They looked back to Italian art before Raphael, seeing the pre-1500 period as one of great sincerity. They called themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In an age of rapid industrial and urban expansion, Pre-Raphaelite artists like Rossetti, Hunt and Millais, and pioneering design reformers such as William Morris, sought a return to pre-industrial values of art and design in truth to nature and materials, and good workmanship. In addition, the arts of the Middle Ages and Middle East were important sources of stylistic inspiration. The Bible, literature and contemporary life were preferred over subjects derived from classical mythology. The Brotherhood also rejected contrived studio lighting and took canvases outside to paint directly from nature. Although attempting to convey exactly what they saw, they created a heightened reality of dream-like intensity with minute details and bright, dazzling colours. Their art was a new kind of history painting for a new age.

Object Name

The Bromley Family

Creators Name

Ford Madox Brown

Date Created



unframed: 117.4cm x 81.1cm
framed: 145cm x 105.5cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


George Beatson Blair bequest, 1941.


© Manchester Art Gallery

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