Byron's Dream

Ford Madox Brown, 1821 - 1893

Byron's Dream

Ford Madox Brown 1821 - 1893


A young man and woman sit on a hillside, on right, looking out over green fields and trees. The woman looks over her shoulder away from the young man, who is sitting slightly behind looking up at her and tentatively holding her hand. Her attention is focused on a man on horseback, riding along a path below and towards them. She is dressed in a low cut, white blouse with frilly trim around the neck and cuffs, and blue detail; she also wears a full length, red skirt and holds a hat in her right hand. The man is dressed in breeches, with a white shirt finished with ruffles under a black jacket. A black and white dog rests at the feet of the man and woman; a broad collar around its neck, looking in same direction as the woman. In the bottom right corner, a whip is laid across the entrance of a rabbit burrow and a hat is placed on the grass above the hole.

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

Byron's Dream

Creators Name

Ford Madox Brown

Date Created



unframed: 71.5cm x 54.8cm
framed: 94.1cm x 77.6cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint

On Display

[G7] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 7
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George Beatson Blair bequest, 1941.


© Manchester Art Gallery

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