John Brett

The British Channel Seen from the Dorsetshire Cliffs

1871

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1060 x 2127 mm
frame: 1390 x 2458 x 121 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Mrs Brett 1902
Reference
N01902

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.

Gallery label, May 2011

Tate Etc.

MicroTate 15

Individual reflections on a work in the Tate collection

Explore