Manfred on the Jungfrau
Brown, Ford Madox
Europe, Belgium, Antwerp
140.2 x 115 cm
Manfred on the Jungfrau 1840-61
Ford Madox Brown 1821-1893
Oil on canvas
The subject is taken from Byron's poem Manfred.
Brown represents the crux of the narrative:
the Alpine nobleman stands on the Jungfrau
and is about to jump when a hunter intervenes.
Manfred's inner turmoil springs from over-education.
His quest for knowledge leads to confusion
and he summons up spirits through black magic.
But even these fail to help his understanding of life.
An incestuous relationship with his sister
adds to Manfred's despair through feelings of guilt.
Brown declared his treatment of the Romantic anti-hero
to be read 'merely by the human and dramatic side.'
Gift of FW Jackson 1916.13