The Irish Girl Ford Madox Brown Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

This painting is simply a small-sized (28cms square) oil paint on canvas. It is entirely about a beautiful girl who looks troubled and somehow nervous. It is right to say that the Irish girl looks worldly-wise with her long dark hair, brown eyes, red lips, and all the loveliness on her face.

She is staring at something that is offside with her head a little bit tilted to one side. Ford Madox was looking for Irish Models for his painting when he bumped unto this little girl. She was a street vendor selling oranges who was illegally placing her basket on a post. Ford could not let the opportunity to paint her picture pass. He painted her with the fingers of her hand slightly popping out of her red shawl. She has wrapped the Shawl tightly around her and its red color seems to complement her red lips. The tiny fingers are gently holding purple cornflowers. Ford Brown witnessed a policeman thoughtlessly pushing the young orange-seller and was deeply upset. He saw the tragedy and injustice associated with the situation and that is why he recorded the small scene as one of his famous paintings.

Other paintings by Ford Madox Brown

  • Work – It features a scene that inspired brown to work on a painting portraying workers from Victoria society. These were the workers who built the canal, railway, and road in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries respectively. Most of them were Irish and Ford knew some of them in person. He describes them as intelligent men engaging in interesting conversations and who took their work seriously
  • Romeo and Juliet – The painting shows the romantic moment early in the morning at Juliet’s Balcony when Romeo was saying goodbye to her. One of his legs is over the Balcony rail while the other one is woven onto the rope ladder. The left-arm shows how much he wants to go but the right arm is still holding his love not wanting to stop. Juliet is tightly holding the love of his life with the desperation of not wanting to let go of him
  • Ford Madox brown has painted many other pictures including Jesus washing Peter’s feet, Pretty baas lamb, stages of cruelty, Lear and Cordelia, The Finding of Don Juan by Haidee, Cordelia’s portion, Manfred on the Jungfrau, Carrying corn, The coat of many colors, The Bromley children, The hay harvest, Cromwell on his farm, Millie Smith, etc. All his paintings represent a scene he was familiar with following different inspirations points