Ford Madox Brown puzzle

September 6 2011

Image of Ford Madox Brown puzzle

Picture: Manchester Art Gallery

I recently mentioned the new Ford Madox Brown exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery and the inclusion of the newly discovered Seraph's Watch. Julian Treuherz, who is curating the exhibition, has been in touch to see if anyone can help solve the apparent puzzle on the figure's shirt. He writes:

There is a puzzle in the painting, maybe some of your readers may be able to help. I cannot find out why Brown used the strange quincunx design on the seraph's tunic; he must have put it there for a reason, also the overlapping circles of the haloes and the little ones at the intersections of the haloes. Someone suggested Swedenborgian associations, but the Swedenborg Society looked into it for me but found nothing to confirm this.

Well, I'm stumped. But if anybody has any bright ideas, pray, let us know...

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