( Originally Published 1955 )
British painter and member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (see)-together with William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossettiwhich was a Victorian reaction against High Renaissance techniques and what they called the Grand Style. Their own method, presumably based on the pre-High Renaissance period, was inclined to mysticism and medievalism and may be considered part of the Romantic revolt against materialism. Brown was trained on the Continent and was influenced by Holbein and Fragonard. Although individualistic in his approach, he reflects Pre-Raphaelite principles in his handling of such themes as Wycliffe Preaching before John of Gaunt and Chaucer Reading to Edward lII. Drama and character in his work are expressed through vitality of design, draughtsmanship and strong color. Twelve frescoes in Manchester Town Hall, 1849-64, are typical of his literal and detailed version of the school. His later works are more romantic and sensuous.