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The Holy Family with John The Baptist, estimated £8,000 to £12,000

PUBLISHED: 12:44 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 22 November 2018

The Holy Family with John the Baptist, by Ford Madox Brown is being sold by Sworders at auction on December 5, 2018.

The Holy Family with John the Baptist, by Ford Madox Brown is being sold by Sworders at auction on December 5, 2018. Picture: STEPHEN BAKER


A painting attributed to a leading member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - Ford Madox Brown, is to be auctioned in Essex on Wednesday December 5.

The Holy Family with John the Baptist, 1864, and signed with monogram by the artist, was previously in the collection of wealthy American collector Henry Audesse.

Ford Madox Brown (April 1821 – October 1893) was a French-born British painter of moral and historical subjects. The son of a retired ship’s purser, he spent his early life on the Continent. In 1848 he met fellow artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and through him became part of the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

Henry Audesse’s spectacular collection of European fine art and furnishings, including this painting by Ford Madox Brown, was offered for sale by US auctioneer John McInnes in 2016 in a multi-million dollar two-day sale, at Audesse’s magnificent Georgian-style mansion at Wenham on Boston’s north shore, Massachusetts.

Henry Audesse had made his fortune in the construction industry in the 1970s and 80s, when most of the collection was put together, although he continued collecting until late in life.

Guy Schooling chairman at Sworders Fine Art said: “It is rare that a fresh work can be attributed with some confidence to a major member of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Furthermore, although beautifully painted, the subject is now considered a little unfashionable. Therefore it carries an eminently modest auction estimate of just £8,000-12,000.”

The work is to be offered at auction on Wednesday December 5 by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Day Two of the Fine Interiors sale at Stansted Mountfitchet.

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