Unravelling the Symbolic Layers in Ford Madox Brown’s ‘The Coat of Many Colours’

This painting is all about jealousy and betrayal

Christopher P Jones

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The Coat of Many Colours (1866) by Ford Madox Brown. Oil on canvas. 107.5 x 103.2 cm. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK. Image source Wikimedia Commons

There are some paintings that last the test of being looked at again and again. They provide an experience for the eye, one that deepens with each visit. This image, with its rich and somewhat theatrical first impression, is one such painting.

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