Copyright 2018 Southampton City Art Gallery All rights reserved

In Storage

Ford Maddox Brown (1821-1893)

Cordelia’s Portion

Brown was never a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood but is closely associated with them and taught Dante Gabriel Rossetti for a time. He painted highly detailed moral and historical subjects. Shakespeare's play King Lear was the inspiration for a number of paintings including several versions of Cordelia's Portion made in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

Cordelia's Portion shows Lear dividing his kingdom between his three daughters with the largest share going to the one who loves him most. Goneril and Regan (on the left) flatter him but Cordelia his favourite daughter (on the right) refuses and is disinherited. Brown enjoyed painting this semi-mythical dark age period and presents Lear as a druid-like figure while the others appear in a mixture of Roman and medieval dress.

Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions795mm x 1118mm
Acquisition NumberSOTAG : 97
Credit LinePurchased in 1936 through the Frederick William Smith Bequest Fund