The Sower

Ford Madox Brown


Wood engraving by Thomas Bolton

5 x 1 15/16 inches

An illustration in Catherine Winkworth’s Lyra Germanica, p. 45.

A piece of transitional Pre-Raphaelitism, combining an Aesthetic fascination with line and form with a gritty realism. The decorative treatment of the character’s hair and jerkin is primarily concerned with pattern and effect; but the artist unites this tendency to abstraction with bold observational details, notably in the treatment of the sower’s boots and the clods of earth beneath his feet. Brown’s image of honest labour is memorable in a book otherwise embellished with conventional designs by John Leighton.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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