Date 1889-04-01
Publication Hobby H.
Topic Ford Madox Brown's paintings
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords Brown
  ↳ PRB standards
  ↳ poetic effect
  ↳ image
Standards PRB standards
  ↳ aesthetic value
Notes Brown as exemplar of PRB precepts in successful execution.

Annotation details

86 April Hobby Horse


Ford Madox-Brown Profiled, art principles examined.


Rossetti, William M. "Ford Madox-Brown." Hobby Horse 2 (April 1886): 48. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Madox-Brown is the focal point of Rossetti's journalistic, educational essay examining the artistic principles that produce the most authentic, sincere are. Madox-Brown is the exemplar, and Rossetti uses him to compare his work and achievements to the work of more mainstream Royal Academy adherents, with the comparison demonstrating a higher level of aesthetic achievement owing to the former. Hogarth is discussed in a similar vein, but Madox-Brown surpasses him and the rest of the contemporary field in the achievement of "commanding dramatic presentation" through his art. Rossetti detects a "touch of Thomas Carlyle" in Madox-Brown's work.

Rossetti was asked to provide a few remarks to preface the autotype presentation of Madox-Brown's "Entombment" by the editor of Hobby Horse, and this article is the result. Rossetti points readers towards Madox-Brown's ongoing work on the Manchester frescoes, which he reviewed previously for The Art Journal, as a measure of his success and as worthy of viewing.

Rossetti expressed concern to the editors of Hobby Horse regarding "the discredit that might attach to such a transaction owing to the family-connexion," but relented in favor of his father-in-law's wishes. Rossetti mentions that the publication is "exceedingly handsome in paper, type and general get-up," but nonetheless pronounced it, "to much (for my taste) of aestheticopurist cliqueism, and the title of the magazine seems to me singularly absurd" (Letters fn 486).




romantic portrayal, invention, presentation, imagery, narrative

Standards of Judgment:

PRB aesthetic principles


Madox-Brown, Hogarth, Shakespeare, Thomas Carlyle



Writing technique/tone:

evaluative, definitive


". . . a passionate, dramatic, and impressive general treatment;" "original without being wiredrawn;" "How can I demonstrate to the eye the sum and substance of the exhibited and implied facts? How can I best tell my story?"

Works Cited

Rossetti, William Michael. Some Reminiscences of William Michael Rossetti.. Vol. 2. New York: Charles Scribner, 1906. Print.

---. Selected Letters of William Michael Rossetti. Ed. Roger Peattie. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1990. Print.