Waiting: An English Fireside of 1854-5

Painted by Ford Madox Brown, Waiting:  An English Fireside 1854-55 was originally meant to depict a middle-class mother in a scene of domesticity.  Later, the artist made changes in order to paint her as the wife of an officer who was fighting in the Crimean war, adding a small miniature portrait of her husband in uniform which can be seen on the table.  Ford Madox Brown used his wife Emma and their baby daughter Catherine as models.  I find this painting cozy and I particularly enjoy Brown’s use of shadow on the wall to depict the light of the lamp next to her.  Although on  a personal note, not one of my three children have ever slept in my lap in such a seemingly uncomfortable position!

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2 Replies to “Waiting: An English Fireside of 1854-5”

  1. The baby does look rather limp, doesn’t she! The lamp is just lovely though. I generally prefer Maddox Brown’s landscapes, but this is an interesting painting.

  2. Yes, I thought that it was a bit strange that Brown portrayed the baby this way, being that he was a father to more than one child. Perhaps he wasn’t a very observant father?

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