Watkinson, Ray
March 1990
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Spring90, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p9
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the painting Work, by Ford Madox Brown. It is not an illustration of any text of Thomas Carlyle's nor a commentary on the Workingmen's College, though Brown was deeply read in Carlyle and later taught at the college. In 1852 there was not a figure in this painting: only in 1856, when he gave it to his Pre-Raphaelite friend Woolner, back from the Australian diggings, did Brown paint in the butcher's boy with his tray. Brown was reading Carlyle at the time, by no means uncritically: but he himself had no thought of introducing the Sage. That figure, and his mild companion, only made their way into Work at the request of Thomas Plint, Leeds, England stockbroker and philanthropist, who in 1856 commissioned what had been laid by for three seasons, the background painted meticulously on the spot.


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