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Pencil Drawing - Alfred The Great - Sketch of Alfred Drawing in the Sand / List of historical Names and Dates, over Sketches of King Alfred

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1978P513
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1843 - 1850

Maker Information

Artist:Ford Madox Brown - View biography for Ford Madox Brown


This interesting page from one of Brown's notebooks reveals much about how he approached his paintings and his desire to be historically accurate in his work. On both sides are sketches for the figure of Alfred the Great (see B82 and B83). On the reverse he has written a list of key historical figures from the medieval period and important dates relating to them over the top of his earlier sketches of Alfred the Great. These notes were most likely to have been made as Brown began working on Chaucer at the Court of Edward III and needed to check that all the figures he wanted to include were all alive at the same time. They may have been jotted down when he undertook research at the British Museum or as his diary suggests when he was in Rome and had access to the library of the English Academy. There he recorded that he was able to procure 'the works and life of our first poet and fortunately ... found that the facts known respecting him perfectly admitted of the idea [he] had already conceived of the subject to wit, Chaucer reading his poms [sic] to Edward the 3rd & his court bringing in other noted characters such as the black prince etc' (Virginia Surtees, ed., 'The Diary of Ford Madox Brown,' pp. 1-2).

Accessioned, 1978.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Pencil drawing with brown ink writing on paper.

Associated People


Height:175 mm
Width:112 mm