The Art of Anne Brontë 
Gallery 1

Portrait of a Young Girl
12  September  1843

Signed and dated - 'Anne Brontë  September 12th. 1843'. This water-colour was painted at Thorp Green where Anne was governess to the Robinson children. She presented it to Mrs. Robinson's confidential maid - Ann Marshall, and it still remains with her family today - the present owner is a descendant.

Portrait of a little girl (water-colour)

 


 

Portrait of a Child's Head (pencil sketch) LEFT: 'Portrait of a Young Boy'. Signed and dated 'Anne Brontë', '15 November 1837'.

RIGHT: 'Portrait of a Woman'. This picture is not signed or dated, but was certainly by Anne - and produced around the same time as the one on the left. Both these sketches are suspected of being produced as an educational exercise when Anne was in her last year at Roe Head School. She was seventeen years old at this time.

Portrait of a Young Lady (pencil sketch)

 


 

'What You Please' (pencil sketch)'What You Please'
25 July 1840

Signed, titled and dated: 'Anne Brontë', 'What You Please', 'July 25th. 1840'. This picture was almost certainly drawn while Anne was at Scarborough during her first summer with the Robinson family. One of Anne's biographers, Edward Chitham, suggests that the picture may be symbolic of 'herself, poised nervously on the edge of a new life'. He also suggests that the title may have been a common phrase of her employer, Mrs. Robinson: 'You may do what you please Miss Brontë.'

 


 

Country lane and villa (pencil sketch) Country Lane and Homestead
30 May 1836

Signed and dated: 'Anne Brontë', 'May 30  1836'. Suspected of being drawn while Anne was a pupil at Roe Head School (see sketch of - Gallery 2). Anne was aged sixteen at this time.

 


 

Country scene with bridge (pencil sketch)Country Scene with Bridge
c. 1836

Edward Chitham suggests this may be a drawing of the bridge that stands close to Little Ouseburn Church (see below): it certainly bears a striking resemblance; however, recent evidence indicates that it was more likely drawn before Anne became acquainted with this area - probably while she was at Roe Head School in 1836, and may have been copied from a picture of 'Greta Bridge', County Durham, a well known north-of-England beauty spot that was frequently painted by various artists at that time.

 


 

Little Ouseburn Church (Anne's sketch / author's photograph)
Little Ouseburn Church
(c. 1840 - 1845)
This sketch is not dated but was drawn sometime between the years 1840 and 1845 when Anne was at Thorp Green. The church is situated about one and a half miles north of Thorp Green (Thorp Green is to the left in these views), and it was here where Anne and the Robinson family worshipped; as did 'Agnes' in Anne's novel Agnes Grey, and where Agnes first encounters the new vicar, Edward Weston, whom she falls in love with and . . . . you'll have to read the novel if you want to know more!
I had to take the photograph from about four yards to the left of where Anne sat sketching the scene - as the view of the church from that location is now partly obscured by the small shrubby trees that have sprung up in the boggy area surrounding the beck - which is now somewhat smaller than when Anne drew it, and is sunk into a slight ditch.
The Chancel roof and end window of the church were raised about six foot during restoration work in 1870 - this difference can be seen in the two scenes.


Gallery: Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

 [ Gallery 2  (5 pics 
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