Saturday, 30 March 2019

More from the Bronte Museum

A posthumous portrait of Charlotte Bronte, painted by J H Thompson who was a friend of Branwell's and also a fellow pupil of William Robinson, who taught Branwell art.  As Thompson knew Charlotte in life, it would seem this might be a fair likeness of her.  It was based on a letter from Mrs Gaskell to Catherine Winkworth, where she described Charlotte as having "soft brown hair, eyes (very good and expressive looking straight and open at you) of the same colour."

Charlotte's paint box and contents.  All the children were interested in art from an early age, and from working in pencil they progressed to watercolours, which were their favourite medium.  This paint box can probably be dated to Charlotte's days at Roe Head School.

This is Charlotte's study of a Primrose, dating from around 1830.

Charlotte's writing slope (though it is called a writing desk in the Museum), and its contents. There was a quill, but by 1840 steel nibbed pens were being used and there are 114 steel nibs inside the slope. The tiny book in its red leather wallet is a Precept, Promise, &Prayer,from the Holy Scriptures, for every day of the year."  It was sold in Paternoster Row in London so it is possible that Charlotte purchased it on one of her visits to the city.

Two more of Branwell's portraits - note that on occasion J H Thompson finished paintings off for Branwell if he considered they weren't quite as they should be.  That sounds like Branwell's artistic talents were somewhat limited.

More effects from the household - Emily appears to have been the only one who was given a Christening cup (or perhaps, only hers survived).  The collars belong to Parsonage dogs - Emily's terrier Grasper perhaps, or Flossie, Ann's dog, and the biggest to Emily's dog Keeper, who was half Mastiff.

Another post tomorrow, if I have time (still gardening frantically whilst we have the weather for it).


  1. Interesting. Nice for me to have another look round the museum, years back. I love your new header photo.

  2. Another wonderful post - thanks so much for sharing the images of your visit. I especially love the study of the primroses :)

  3. Such an interesting post, thank you. I just watched the television show about them.