Frank Bramley

For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven

For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven by Frank Bramley

Artwork Detail

Bramley spent eleven years at the artists' colony in Newlyn, Cornwall. The Newlyn School became known for its Cornish genre scenes and plein air approach, drawing in particular on what have been described as long, gentle moods of grey. Bramley combined social realism with the new practice of painting out of doors, trying to balance aesthetic concerns with the dramatic narrative so popular amongst Victorians, who had a great fondness for heart-rending sentimentalism and a fixation with social class. 'For of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven' (one of the most popular paintings in the Gallery's collection), presents child mortality as a grief common to all people, irrespective of wealth or class. Like all the young women in the cortège, the little girl clutching the expensive bouquet of chrysanthemums wears a white dress almost certainly bought for such an occasion. Her unhealthy pallor suggests that she may be the next to be carried off, perhaps by tuberculosis, which could rapidly wipe out entire families. The bowed head of the father may speak of filial loss, but as no male child is apparent in the group, it also suggests a double grief - the lack of a male heir. The sons and daughters of the local fishing folk, although wearing clothes that are patched and shabby, are ruddy-cheeked and sturdy, reflecting their more healthy outdoor life. (from The Guide, 2001)

For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven
Frank Bramley
Production date
oil on canvas
2166 x 2872 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1913
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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