John Brett
The British Channel Seen from the Dorsetshire Cliffs 1871

Artwork details

John Brett 1831–1902
The British Channel Seen from the Dorsetshire Cliffs
Date 1871
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1060 x 2127 mm
frame: 1390 x 2458 x 121 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Brett 1902
Not on display

Display caption

This view is probably from the cliffs above Lulworth Cove in Dorset, although there are no identifiable features. It is based on detailed notes on colour and meteorology that John Brett made as he sailed round the south-west coast in the summer of 1870. The focus of the painting is the effect of sunlight on the sea, which Brett had studied closely and aimed to reproduce accurately. But when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy some observers thought the azure colouring was inappropriate, confined by their own preconceptions of nature.

May 2011

About this artwork