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Wood Engraving - Poets of the Nineteenth Century - The Prisoner of Chillon

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1912P50
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1857 - 1857

Maker Information

After a design by:Ford Madox Brown - View biography for Ford Madox Brown
Engraver:Dalziel Brothers - View history


In 1856 Brown was commissioned to illustrate Byron's poem 'The Prisoner of Chillon' by the Dalziel brothers for the anthology 'Poets of the Nineteenth Century' by Reverend Robert Avis Willmott. Early in his career he had depicted a scene from the poem in an oil painting (1843, oil on canvas, Manchester Art Gallery), but for the new illustration he created a completely different composition. This is the only illustration whose progress is recorded from start to finish in Brown's diary. His entries reveal that Brown applied himself as seriously to illustrating as he did to painting, making numerous studies and spending a vast amount of time on the project. The Birmingham collection holds two of his studies: an early compositional study (1927P353) and a study of a corpse (1927P352). Both Brown and the brothers Dalziel appear to have been pleased with his illustration as this was the first of three collaborative projects.

Presented by Charles Fairfax Murray, 1912.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Wood engraving on paper.

Associated People


Height:190 mm
Width:123 mm