Ford Madox Brown

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Born to British parents in Calais in 1821, Ford Madox Brown was educated at art schools in Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Paris before moving to London in 1846. In 1848 he received a letter from a young student at the Royal Academy asking whether he would consent to tutor him. Brown agreed and thus came into contact with one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood—Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Although Brown never formally joined the Brotherhood, many of his paintings adopted aspects of the Pre-Raphaelite agenda, and Work was no exception, with its intense detail, truth to nature and strong moral message.

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