'Waiting: an English fireside of 1854-55', Ford Madox Brown
Oil on panel, 30.5 x 20cm
Accession Number WAG 10533
This painting started life as an ordinary fireside study and Madox Brown converted it into a topical painting about the Crimean War of 1854 when he took the picture up again in 1855.
This woman is waiting for her soldier husband to return from the Crimea. His miniature portrait can be seen on the table. The woman's shadow, looming behind her also suggests another person missing from this scene.
Ford Madox Brown's wife and daughter posed for the picture. This everyday scene in an ordinary middle-class room lit by lamplight and firelight has been painted with a quiet intensity, suggesting a Madonna and child in contemporary dress.
Purchased with the help of the Art Fund.