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“Seafaring Tranquility” : A Pre-Raphaelite Scene Oil Painting on Canvas, Signed – John Brett



Category: Product ID: 27643


The painting by John Brett, dating back to circa 1860, is a testament to his artistic prowess within the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Meticulously executed on an Antique Oil On Canvas, the artwork conveys a serene and evocative scene. The frame’s dimensions are Width: 22.40″ x Height: 16.75″ with a substantial thickness of 3″, encompassing a picture size of Width: 18″ x Height: 12″.

This exquisite painting captures the essence of a cloudy day at sea, seamlessly blending a beach adorned with rugged rocks and gently rolling hills. Commanding the composition is a grand ship, accompanied by a fleet of smaller boats, while birds gracefully populate the skies above. The hues of the grass subtly hint at the season of fall, infusing the scene with a distinct temporal and atmospheric quality. Brett’s hallmark meticulous attention to detail and expert handling of nature’s nuances are prominently displayed, further showcasing his mastery of the landscape genre within the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

The painting bears the distinct signature of John Brett, affirming his personal involvement and dedication to the artwork. This signature not only adds an intimate connection to the artist but also serves as a testament to the historical and artistic provenance of the piece, unequivocally linking it to the accomplished artist.

In sum, the circa 1860 painting by John Brett stands as a testament to his artistic prowess. With its serene and masterfully rendered composition, it captures the viewer’s imagination through its evocative depiction of a cloudy coastal scene. The meticulous attention to detail, skilled use of color, and the artist’s distinctive touch combine to create a work that exemplifies Pre-Raphaelite excellence.
John Brett ARA (8 December 1831 – 7 January 1902) was a prominent British artist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement, renowned for his meticulously detailed landscapes. Born near Reigate, Brett’s artistic talent was nurtured within a creative family; his sister, Rosa Brett, also pursued an artistic career, and they shared a studio during the early 1850s. Brett’s early artistic education involved learning from landscape painter James Duffield Harding and Richard Redgrave. His artistic philosophy, however, was significantly influenced by the ideas of John Ruskin and William Holman Hunt, whom he encountered through his friendship with poet Coventry Patmore.

Embracing Hunt’s concept of scientific landscape painting, Brett embarked on a journey to Switzerland, where he produced topographical landscapes and absorbed the influence of John William Inchbold. In 1858, he unveiled “The Stonebreaker,” a masterpiece that garnered him recognition. This painting featured a youth breaking stones to pave a road in a vividly illuminated and finely detailed landscape. This precision in geological and botanical representation captivated John Ruskin, who predicted that Brett could create a masterpiece by capturing the Val d’Aosta in Italy. Encouraged by Ruskin’s support, Brett visited the location, resulting in the 1859 exhibit of his work that was hailed by Ruskin himself.

Brett’s oeuvre primarily focused on intricately detailed landscapes, often imbued with scientific accuracy and enriched by moral and religious undertones, in accordance with Ruskin’s recommendations. Throughout the 1860s, Brett frequently sojourned in Italy, refining his skill in meticulously capturing nature’s intricacies. As he matured as an artist, he expanded his subjects to include coastal scenes and seascapes, which were informed by his ownership of a 210-ton schooner named Viking, allowing him to explore the Mediterranean.

During the 1880s, Brett rented Newport Castle in Pembrokeshire during the summers. This provided a base for his family while he documented the Welsh south and west coasts through painting, sketching, and photography. The National Museum of Wales held an exhibition in 2001 titled “John Brett – a Pre-Raphaelite on the Shores of Wales,” showcasing many of his major works from this period.

Brett’s interests extended beyond art. He was an avid astronomer from childhood and became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1871. He was also a founding member of the Art Workers’ Guild and was elected Master in 1890.

Marine / Maritime painting



Frame Size 12 x 18


Additional information

Weight 15 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 18 in


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