George Barret Junior

Composition: Sunset


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
George Barret Junior 1767–1842
Watercolour and gum arabic on paper
Support: 222 × 183 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

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George Barret the younger was a founder member of the Society of Painters in Watercolour. His landscape watercolours were strongly influenced by the idealised compositions of the seventeenth-century artist Claude Lorraine. Exhibited under generalised titles such as 'Twilight' or 'Sunset', Barret's landscapes were executed in a range of warm colours based predominantly on browns and reds. Members of the Society of Painters in Watercolour were keen to emulate the depth of colour and richness of tone found in oil paintings. Their increased density of colouring resulted in a greater proportion of the paper's white surface being obscured. They then had to resort to devices like sponging or scraping to create highlights.

Gallery label, September 2004

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