John Brett Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

12-8-1831 Reigate, ENG – 1-7-1902 London, ENG

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Brett, John

In 1851 John Brett started art lessons with James Duffield Harding, a landscape painter. He likewise studied with Richard Redgrave. In 1853 he entered the Royal Academy schools but was more intrigued by the thoughts of John Ruskin and William Holman Hunt, whom he met through his companion the poet Coventry Patmore. Inspired by Hunt's ideal of scientific landscape painting Brett visited Switzerland, where he worked on topographical landscapes and came under the further influence of John William Inchbold.

In 1858 John Brett exhibited The Stonebreaker, the painting that made his reputation. This depicted a youth crushing stones to make a street surface, sitting in a lit and nitty gritty scene. The accuracy of the geological and botanical detail awed Ruskin, anticipating that Brett would have the capacity to paint a masterpiece if he somehow happened to visit the Val d'Aosta in Italy. Partly subsidized by Ruskin, Brett made the trek to paint the area, exhibiting it in 1859, again to high acclaim from Ruskin, who purchased the work of art.

John Brett kept on painting detailed landscape views, staying in Italy on many occasions in the 1860s. He was always keen to stress the scientific precision of his rendering of nature, but mixed it with with moral and religious significance. In his later years he painted more coastal subjects and seascapes, subjects he came to know well due to his ownership of a 210-ton schooner, Viking which had a crew of twelve, on which he ventured to every part of the Mediterranean.

During summers in the 1880s John Brett rented the castle at Pembrokeshire to use as a base for his large family while he painted, sketched and photographed the south and west coasts of Wales.

The very interesting THEN & NOW photo section. See, the present day location that inspired the famous artist Oswald Achenbach. We travel the world to find the exact location where the artist set up his easel to paint. We photograph it as it appears today. Now, you can compare side by side photos of the original oil painting and the present-day location.

Art Movement: Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Artists Influencing John Brett: Richard Redgrave, James Duffield Harding, John William Inchbold.
HeTraveled To: Italy, Switzerland, Wales.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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