Thursday, 22 April 2010

A curiosity

Here is a profoundly strange art piece by Ford Madox Brown: called "Take your son, sir!", it was started in 1857. The disturbing expression of the woman, the way she carelessly holds the child, the neglect suggested by the unfinished state of the painting makes it a very curious painting.

Depicting Emma, the artist's wife, and their son Arthur, it has been painted during a period of heated debates surrounding the acceptance of a law authorizing women to ask for divorce when they were abandoned or treated with cruelty.  This may be why the woman is presented as threatening to the father of her child, as if she was asking him to take responsibility for his actions.  

I love the ambiguity of the composition that makes us look twice and to my opinion, the fact that it is unfinished only adds to its appeal.

The informations about the painting are from the book "Les préraphaélites, un moderniste à l'anglaise" by Laurence Des Cars.

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